Cigarette tossed in hospital parking lot takes out 2 vehicles

Shutterstock photo of firefighters at vehicle blaze.
Shutterstock photo of firefighters at vehicle blaze.

A cigarette thrown from a vehicle and into a pine straw-covered landscape island at Piedmont Fayette Hospital on June 16 resulted in damage to two vehicles.

It was on June 16 at approximately 12:41 p.m. that Fayetteville police were dispatched to Piedmont Fayette Hospital regarding a brush fire. Dispatch informed the officer the brush fire spread to a car and possibly other vehicles, said Fayetteville Police Department spokesperson Ann Marie Burdett.

Burdett noted that the fire had originated in pine straw in a landscape island in the employee parking area at the rear of the hospital, with two vehicles in close proximity to the landscape island suffering damage.

Burdett said police arrived and established a perimeter in the area to maintain the safety and security of the scene. Officers found one of the vehicles fully engulfed, resulting in extensive damage. The second vehicle had less damage.

Once the fire was extinguished from the two vehicles involved in the incident, the officer was able to determine the vehicles’ owner based on the vehicle’s identification numbers (VIN), said Burdett.

“The unidentified employee admitted to throwing a cigarette butt from their vehicle, which caused the pine straw in the area to catch on fire. The employee attempted to extinguish the fire with a can of Coke but was unsuccessful,” said Burdett. “The employee called 911 to report the incident.”

Burdett said firefighters extinguished the fire, and a towing service removed the vehicles from the scene.