By Olivia B. Waxman
March 6, 2014

Firefighters believe a bird carrying a cigarette caused a fire in a London building last night.

In a statement, Fire Investigation Officer Matt Cullen said, “Neighbours told us they often saw birds flying in and out of a hole in the roof. We believe that one of the birds picked up a cigarette butt that was still smouldering and dropped it into the nest, causing it to catch fire and set the roof alight.”

Fire investigators were baffled until they found the smoking gun - a partially burnt birds nest. #smokingbird

— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) March 6, 2014

Make sure you put your cigarettes out fully! You never know who might pinch your smouldering butts! #smokingbird

— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) March 6, 2014

Nine people fled the building in the city’s Stockwell neighborhood when the fire broke out, but no injuries have been reported.

On Twitter, the London Fire Brigade retweeted a joke from a local retailer:

@LondonFire Presumably it was a Puffin' ?

— Dorking Stoves (@dorkingstoves) March 6, 2014

(h/t BBC)

Write to Olivia B. Waxman at

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