Thursday, January 18, 2007

Cigarette butts are not good nesting materials

From Channel 13, WOWK in West Virginia: "Lit cigarette carried back to nest ignites blaze."

Officials in the city of Huntington and the State Fire Marshal's office said the apparent cause of last Wednesday's fire at the Ratcliff Building was a bird that carried a lit cigarette into an attic of the building and into its nest. The fire destroyed the building, which housed five businesses.

A report like this adds fuel (no pun intended) to my dislike for smokers who drop still-burning and used cigarette butts onto sidewalks, roads, beaches and other public spots.


Blogger Susan Gets Native said...

I heard this story this morning on "Bob and Tom".
They said the nest was five feet across. Is that right?

They followed it up with story about a farmer whose pigs came into his house and somehow burned the house down.

January 18, 2007 7:22 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Susan, I found one article citing a 5-foot-wide nest. Yowza.

January 19, 2007 10:27 AM  
Blogger Rick Wright said...

I wonder if this isn't a case of a bird "anting" using a burning cigarette. Christopher Leahy's _Companion_ notes that "an alarming side effect of certain birds' fondness for a burning sensation is a propensity for picking up flaming tinder and transporting it," including into roost sites in buildings.

January 19, 2007 10:28 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Interesting possibility, Rick.

January 19, 2007 1:06 PM  
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