Kevin Lillingston, Nanaimo Fire Rescue fire prevention officer, said Tuesday that discarded smoking material likely sparked a fire that destroyed a house on Robarts Street last week. (CHRIS BUSH)

Cigarette butt blamed for blaze that destroyed 19th-century house in Nanaimo

Investigator says poorly discarded smoking material caused house fire that displaced four tenants

Smoking is the likely cause of a fire that destroyed a 19th-century house in Nanaimo last week.

Four people managed to escape the early morning fire Thursday when a skateboarder spotted the flames and alerted residents.

The house at 40 Robarts St., built in 1891 according to research by the owner of the sister house next door, was heavily damaged by the blaze.

“The probable cause of the fire at 40 Robarts St. was determined to be poorly discarded smoking material outside the front entrance of the home,” said Kevin Lillingston, Nanaimo Fire Rescue fire prevention officer, in an e-mail.

Lillingston said the location the fire started was narrowed down to the area of the home’s covered front porch, at the top of the front steps near the front door.

RELATED: Six people displaced by early-morning house fire in Nanaimo

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