Firefighters doused another blaze started by cheap cigarettes Monday night, and investigators said it's the sixth incident in the past three months.

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue crews responded to the 12000 block of SW North Dakota street in Tigard just before 8 p.m. after reports of balcony fire at the apartment complex. When crews arrived they found a passerby had knocked down the flames, but firefighters worked to ensure that the fire was completely out.

TVF&R investigators determined the fire was caused by a lit cigarette tossed into a plastic trash container that was being used as an ashtray. Residents told investigators they regularly threw cheap smokes and combustible trash into the container.

The fire caused $10,000 in damages to the apartment.

"Never use anything that can burn or melt as an ashtray," said Brian Barker, a TVF&R spokesman. "That means that you should not use plastic trash containers, plastic coffee cans, or planters filled with potting soil. Potting soil or bark chips can easily catch fire."

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