Fatal Dartmouth fire likely caused by 'careless use of smoking materials'

The fire at a Dartmouth, N.S., apartment building last month destroyed at least six units and damaged many more.

1 person killed in fire on Primrose Street last month

Fire crews used a backhoe to stabilize the roof as they investigated the cause of a fire on Primrose Street in Dartmouth last month. (Carolyn Ray/CBC)

A fire at a Dartmouth, N.S., apartment building last month that claimed the life of one person was likely caused by the "careless use of smoking materials," according to Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency.

Investigators say the fire started near a couch in the living room of a third-floor apartment on Primrose Street. Fire officials can't be certain of the cause because the damage was too extensive.

Deputy fire Chief Roy Hollett confirmed the person who was killed was in the apartment where the fire started. 

The May 19 fire quickly spread out to the wooden balcony and up to the roof, and forced 150 people out of their homes. 

At least six units were destroyed. Many other units had smoke and water damage.

The building had no sprinkler system, Hollett said.

He recommended people carefully dispose of smoking materials, such as lighters, matches and cigarettes. He said these items are sometimes placed in wastebaskets, green bins and planter boxes, and can lead to fire under the right conditions if these things are dry.