Firefighters said the careless disposal of a cigarette started the fire that damaged a house in downtown Plymouth Tuesday night.
Fire Chief Ed Bradley said the fire at 34 Summer St. started on a second floor rear balcony shortly before 10 p.m. after someone put a smoldering cigarette in a plastic pail.
The resulting fire spread to the deck and exterior shingles of the four-unit apartment house, which overlooks Town Brook across from the John Carver Inn.
Bradley said residents were alerted by an interior smoke detector and were already trying to douse the flames with a garden house and an extinguisher when firefighters arrived.
No injuries were reported. Damages were estimated at $20,000