PEABODY — The improper disposal of smoking materials set off a fire that destroyed a mobile home on Route 1 Thursday, according to the state fire marshal’s office.
There were no injuries, but the home at 286 Newbury St. was a total loss.
The fire started at 5:10 p.m. below an exterior window. Dozens of cigarette butts were found mixed in with dried leaves. Strong winds contributed to the rapid spread of the fire, investigators said.
“This is a very dangerous time of year for outdoor fires,” said Peabody Fire Chief Steven Pasdon in a statement. “The grass and leaves are dry and the ground has not greened up yet, so there’s plenty of tinder for fires. Windy days fan flames quickly into a fire that can spread rapidly.”
He praised firefighters for swiftly containing the blaze, because it could have easily spread to nearby homes.
State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said the Peabody fire is the most recent one started by smoking that have left dozens of victims homeless and/or hospitalized, and families grieving the loss of pets.
In the last two weeks, he said, smoking has been the cause of eight fires in Lynn, New Bedford, Chelsea, Douglas, Springfield, Milford, and Medway.
“Smoke outdoors responsibly,” Ostroskey said in a statement. “Dispose of smoking materials in a metal can or pail with wet sand. Do not dispose of butts in leaves and vegetation or plastic containers that catch fire easily.”