By JIM MEYER
Firefighters were dispatched Monday afternoon to a fire caused by smoldering cigarette butts under an awning outside Casey’s Restaurant and Lounge on North Seneca Street, according to Oil City Fire Department Capt. John Rodgers.
The fire, reported at 3:22 p.m., was caused by cigarette butts catching fire in a plastic container near a side door, Rodgers said.
“The cigarettes caught fire, melted down the plastic jug and caught a plastic shelf on fire,” Rodgers said. “Then, that caught a door jamb on fire.”
Jim Swires, of Rouseville, alerted patrons after he noticed the smoke while riding his motorcycle past the restaurant.
“I thought that’s not normal, so I stopped and ran in,” Swires said. “It was blazing pretty good until they got the fire extinguisher after it.”
Business didn’t seem to be slowed by the incident, as several cars arrived with potential customers asking if the establishment was still open.
The fire department cleared the scene at 4 p.m., Rodgers said. Oil City police assisted at the scene.