A BIN inside a sheltered housing flat was set alight when a discarded cigarette end was thrown in to the container.
The blaze happened in a home on the middle floor of the three-storey complex at Magdalene Court, Tempest Road, Seaham, at about 8.15pm yesterday.
The fire was out by the time firefighters arrived a short time later, but they ensured there was no further risk of harm, with wardens also called to the site after they were alerted by a smoke alarm.
The elderly woman who lives inside the flat was uninjured in the incident and no other residents were evacuated from their homes.
Firefighters have issued a reminder smokers should make sure their cigarettes are fully extinguished before the remainder is binned.