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FORT EDWARD — A fire believed to have been started by a cigarette heavily damaged a home on Thornwood Drive in Fort Edward late Sunday, but residents escaped injury.

The blaze was reported at 2 Thornwood around 10 p.m. Firefighters from Fort Edward, Hudson Falls, South Glens Falls and Argyle were summoned, and remained on the scene into early Monday.

Fort Edward Fire Chief Matt Hurlburt said a cat was found alive in the remants of the home after the fire was put out.

He said one of the residents had smoked a cigarette on the back porch earlier in the evening, and thought he had discarded it in a can used for them. It was unclear what happened, but the fire started around that can, and either he missed the can or the can had rusted from moisture to expose the smoldering butt.

“By the time they noticed there was a fire, it was too much for them to attempt anything (to put it out),” Hurlburt said.

Firefighters arrived to find the home engulfed in flames, he said.

Damage was heaviest in the back of the ranch-style home, which is set into the side of a hill.

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