John Day and Canyon City volunteer firefighters responded to a fire at Meadowbrook Apartments at 8:30 p.m. Friday night in John Day.
Two John Day engines were on scene with Canyon City responding with one engine for mutual aid. A John Day Rural Fire Board member also responded, and John Day police were also on scene.
John Day Fire Chief Ron Smith said the blaze started after a friend of the renter discarded a cigarette in an ashtray on the upper-level apartment’s deck.
He said a little paper in the ashtray caught fire, spreading to some nearby boxes and up the side of the D-6 apartment.
Smith said the renter, who had been inside the home, was alerted to the fire after seeing some flashing on the wall.
“He threw water on the fire,” Smith said. “He did a pretty good at dropping it down. ... All in all, very fortunate — if they didn’t get that head start on it, it could have been worse.”
The fire moved into the space between the ceiling and roof, and firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading further.
No injuries were reported, and crews cleared the scene at 9:30 p.m.
An apartment manager said the interior of the unit was not damaged, and the family was able to return to the home. An estimate of damages was not available at press time.