PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The Pensacola Fire Department responded to a fire at Armstrong Park Tuesday morning. After investigation, it was determined that a cigarette butt caused the fire.

“Due to someone improperly disposing of a cigarette butt it caught some mulch on fire, and due to the dry weather and lack of rain it proceeded to smolder, spread and ultimately catch the playground equipment on fire,” said Lt. Greg McLellan of the Pensacola Fire Department.

Those who frequent the park were saddened by the closure of a portion of the playground.

“It’s sad because the children don’t have anywhere to go and they like to come here to enjoy the park,” said Pensacola resident Murrayann Walker.

Residents are encouraged to refrain from outdoor burning during a red flag warning, where even cigarettes can cause a fire. While the fire was accidental, the fire department encourages people to make sure cigarettes are put all the way out and to dispose of them in proper waste bins. 

“Try to find a waste container or some type of device that is actually for cigarette butts,” said Lt. McLellan.

The damaged portion of the playground is closed until further notice, but the rest of the park is open to the public.

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