An unattended cigar led to a fire that damaged Xcite Club and Lounge on Dauphin Street downtown Sunday afternoon, a Mobile Fire and Rescue spokesman said Monday.
Firefighters were called out to the club around 4:52 p.m. and the fire was put out at around 8 p.m., Steve Huffman said.
“We had the heaviest part of the fire out within 10 minutes,” he said.
It took firefighters a little longer to take care of hot spots that were harder to reach, he said. Firefighters were at the scene until 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
The department initially called out three trucks during a first alarm, Huffman said. The department sent out another set of trucks during a second alarm because of the size of the building, Huffman said.
The fire started when an employee doing inventory at the closed club left a cigar he had been smoking on a box in a third-floor storage room, Huffman said. The employee thought he’d snuffed it out, Huffman said.
Huffman said there is no power hook-up on the third floor and the storage room is not easily accessible.
The employees at the club then decided to go eat and later noticed the fire trucks passing by, Huffman said.
“The club was closed and no one was in it at the time of the fire,” Huffman said.
There were no injuries, but the fire did more than $150,000 in damage to the building. That includes fire damage to the third floor and water damage in other areas, Huffman said. Neighboring buildings weren’t damaged.
Huffman said there’s always a concern over neighboring buildings in situations like the one Sunday, but he credited the time of day and a quick response with minimizing the damage.
“It happened during the day,” Huffman said. “Someone saw the smoke and it was reported immediately. “If it had happened at 1 (a.m.) it might’ve been harder to see.”