RANTOUL - After 3 fires in 5 weeks, Rantoul firefighters are warning people not to throw cigarette butts in dry mulch or grass.
Rantoul Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Kaiser says the first fire happened at the Dunkin Donuts in Rantoul after employees threw tossed their cigarette butts in the mulch near a gas meter.
Kaiser says the fire caused $50,000 worth of damage and could have caused an explosion.
Then another mulch fire started several feet away from the Walmart Supercenter in Rantoul, again cigarettes were the cause.
Finally, the BP gas station across the street from Walmart had a similar mulch fire.
Kaiser says smokers must be careful where they throw their cigarette butts because a mulch fire can easily turn into a much bigger, dangerous fire.