Carelessly tossed cigarette butt ignites blaze at entrance to Village of Pinellas 

A carelessly tossed cigarette butt ignited a blaze Sunday at the entrance to the Village of Pinellas.

The butt landed in the landscaping, setting off a fire and causing smoke at the entrance off County Road 466A near Pinellas Plaza.

Conditions are very dry due to the lack of rain. The Southwest Florida Water Management District recently declared a Phase 1 Water Shortage. You can read more about that HERE

A carelessly tossed cigarette butt ignited a blaze Sunday at the entrance to the Village of Pinellas.

A carelessly tossed cigarette butt ignited a blaze Sunday at the entrance to the Village of Pinellas.

The fire scorched landsacaping behind the Village of Pinellas sign.

The fire scorched landsacaping behind the Village of Pinellas sign.


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  1. Linda Helmbrecht says

    My my! So many negative remarks. What bad habit do all of you have? Yes, smoking causes health issues, but so does drinking, overeating, and promiscuous sex.

    The subject of the matter is someone tossed a lit cigarette. It started a fire…..who is the culprit? Only the gate camera(if it caught the persons hand flicking the butt out the window)knows. Actually it could have been from the previous vehicle. At any rate I’m sure it could have been an upstanding, holier than thou Villager just as easy as a contractor, snowbird, or any one of hundreds of people passing through that gate.

    Get a grip! For ONCE, complain about the actual act without being condescending to others. Don’t forget, Each and every one of us has a habit no one else would want. IJS

  2. Denis Dzurinko says

    You all are commenting as if the smoker will ever read it or care about what you wrote. About 6 months ago, I followed a YOUNG gentlemen In a 3/piece suit come in the gate up on Morse and El Camino Real. About a half mile going south on Morse, he flicked a lit cig butt out the window. I followed him for several miles only to lose him at a traffic light near Sumter Landing. My hopes were to see him park somewhere and approach him and ask why he thinks it’s okay to flick butts out the window in OUR neighborhood. Unfortunately I was unable to follow him through a red light. . But if people don’t LIVE here, they don’t care and have no courtesy for those of us that do. So comments are always welcome, but if you think for one minute the offender will read your comments and care, you’re gonna be disappointed.

  3. Jim Kinley says

    The last time I smoked was October of 1992. I never threw a cigar or cigarette out the window because my parents taught me not to “clutter”. Unfortunately, some didn’t get the parenting they needed.

  4. Earle Russell says

    All the good things about smoking (cigarettes & cigars):
    While driving, or riding in a golf cart behind a person puffing away you get the pleasure of smelling and inhaling 2nd hand smoke.
    The Ambassadors get to pick up the butts on the golf course.
    As the smoker in the cart flicks the cigarettes & cigars the ashes float back into the cart behind the smoker.
    If you are eating at an outside restaurant table, the passing smoker ruins your meal with the drifting smoke.
    As you walk past the open bars in the square the cloud of smoke envelopes you.
    The fountains are used for the butts when finished.
    Being a fire starter is not a new problem of smokers.
    These are a few of the pleasures of smoking not including the health hazard to the smoker and others who don’t abide.

  5. Josie Wells says

    Must have been a snowbird, contractor, or a loser on spring break spending time with grandparents , maybe one of them rednecks Southerners….

    • Gilmer Murray says

      Josie, you a partly right. I am a redneck southerner. We’re the ones whose mommas taught to say yes maam, no maam, yes sir, no sir, to place a lady’s chair at the table for her, stand when a lady enters or leaves the room. We were taught to respect our elders, treat everyone with politeness, stand and salute the American flag when it passes and stand with our right hand over our hearts when the National Anthem is played. But we don’t throw cigarette butts out the window…..we were taught to use an ashtray. Oh, bye the bye there are an extremely few of us redneck southerners that can be considered snowbirds. We already live in GOD’s country and we don’t have to go South for the winter.

      • Diane Kowalczyk Walker says

        Gilmer Murray – Great response to Josie Wells. She gave a very snotty, condescending comment and I loved your response to her. Apparently she feels the only people who know how to behave properly are full timers who came from “the north”. She must travel in a very small circle of friends.

  6. Lewis Forrest says

    i have no sympathy for smokers, ignorant habit. With all the information on the health hazards these idiots continue to smoke.. I see so many butts on the ground around the villages, they should be fined for littering.. They should just eat the butt when they finish smoking, much more healthier than the tabaco..

  7. Steve Bressi says

    Ok, smoking is a filthy habit that is bad for you. We all know that. That is not the issue here. The problem is not the cigarette, it is the idiot that tossed a lit cigarette out the window in the middle of dry season. That is truly stupid. Unfortunately you can’t fix stupid – but you can fine the hell out of it. Hopefully, the gate cameras caught the idiot that threw the cigarette and their license plate.

  8. Robert Schwarz says

    If you look around at the litter in the Villages, and there is thankfully, very little, it is usually beer bottles and empty packs of cigarettes….Sad

  9. James Radatz says

    25% of smokers are just wonderful people ‘NOT!’. The rest are respectable and wish they could quit the habit that they got hooked on when they were young. However.

    • Paul Donovan says

      I used to smoke many years ago and know how hard it was to quit. I enjoyed quitting so much I did it several times before I kicked the habit. However, many smokers just don’t care about anyone around them, littering etc. I have a friend who smokes rather heavily and he thinks nothing at all of lighting up when we are sitting outdoors at a table for breakfast while people are all around him eating their breakfast, including me. The restaurant doesn’t encourage it but he always asks for an ashtray. It has gotten to the point that i will not go outside with him to eat or have a beer because all he wants to do is smoke and make me smell like stale cigarettes If he comes to my house, he wants to stand on the balcony smoking and usually I have to go and close the door. Just inconsiderate but he doesn’t even realize it. Then, I see people dumping their nasty car ashtrays in parking lots and driving off, throwing their butts out the window littering the roads and in this case starting a fire.

      • Hunter Hampton says

        When we were young smoking was glamorous, and we thought safe. All the sophisticated people did it in movies and on TV. It’s not glamorous any more….

        • Deborah Zaranti says

          Even worse, in the early-mid 1950s doctors would tell their more nervous patients, “Go home, have a martini and a cigarette, relax.”!!

          • Chip Griffen says

            Deb, that, at the time WAS “modern medicine”.

            Ignorance is bliss,..that said, I dont smoke, never have smoked – and I dont give a rip if someone does (not near me),. I wonder how many of the judgemental people posting here are alcoholic, and even better – sporting the seemingly mandatory extra 50+ lbs that is so common in TV.

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