A smoker's carelessness may have caused a fire that damaged the basement of a two-story St. Johns-area home early Tuesday morning.
No one was home at the time the fire broke out. The house was being remodeled, which caused the fire to spread quickly throughout the building.
Firefighters from North Portland's Station 22 were called at about 5:30 a.m. to a house at 9716 N. Smith Ave., where a two-story home's basement was on fire. Firefighters searched the house for anyone inside, but no one was in the house. They were able to contain the fire to the basement, with some smoke and water damage to the upper floors.
Investigators said the fire caused about $90,000 damage to the house and about $50,000 damage to its contents.