Toms River Fire Officials say the the cause of a Monday fire at 138 Joanna Drive was due to improperly discarded smoking materials.

The fire started outside of the home and nobody was inside at the time of the blaze.

As of today the home remains inhabitable though the garage sustained heavy damage from the fire which were ignited in part by the windy conditions on Monday.

Toms River Fire Companies #1 and #2 were dispatched to a residential structure fire and under the direction of Chief Mike Muttie with assistance from the East Dover Fire Company, Silverton Fire Company, and Pleasant Plains Fire Company, the fire was extinguished with no injuries reported.

Lead Fire Inspector John Novak and Inspector Dana Mitchell performed the origin and cause of the fire.

Following the blaze, the Toms River Bureau of Fire Prevention has some tips for smokers:

  • Smoke outside. Many things in your home can catch on fire if they touch something hot like a cigarette or ashes. It is always safer to smoke outside.
  • Put cigarettes out all the way. Do this every time. Don’t walk away from lit cigarettes and other smoking materials. Put water on the ashes and butts to make sure they are really out before you put them in the trash.
  • Be alert. Do not smoke after taking medicine that makes you tired. You may not be able to prevent or escape from a fire if you are sleepy or have taken medicine that makes you tired.
  • Never smoke around medical oxygen. Medical oxygen can explode if a flame or spark is near. Even if the oxygen is turned off, it can still catch on fire.
  • Never smoke in bed. Mattresses and bedding can catch on fire easily. Do not smoke in bed because you might fall asleep with a lit cigarette.
  • Put your cigarette out in an ashtray or bucket with sand. Use ashtrays with a wide base so they won’t tip over and start a fire.

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