COLUMBIA — A lit cigarette set a porch on fire at 6801 North Route E in Boone County on Sunday afternoon.
Jennifer Whithaus was home with her two sons when she noticed her back porch was in flames, she said.
While smoking a cigarette on her porch 10 minutes earlier, Whithaus heard her 4-month-old son on the baby monitor and went back inside to tend to him, she said.
"I must have missed the cigarette bucket on the porch, which fell on some boxes left over from Christmas," Whithaus said.
Whithaus called the Boone County Fire Protection District, which sent seven vehicles. After the first engine arrived, however, the other units were called back, public information officer Gale Blomenkamp said.
Worried about the propane tank near her porch, Whithaus took her sons out of the house. Her neighbors came with buckets and pitchers of water to help put out the fire, she said.
Firefighters put the remaining flames out, Blomenkamp said.
No one was injured in the fire, and there was minimal damage, Whithaus said.