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A Madison man sustained minor injuries Tuesday afternoon while putting out a fire caused by discarded cigarette butts.

The fire was reported at about 2:55 p.m. in the 10 block of North Franklin Avenue, the Madison Fire Department said.

The fire caused an estimated $12,500 in damage.

Arriving firefighters were told by the homeowner that the fire already was out, but crews checked it out.

"Firefighters found a significant fire had taken place in the kitchen area, though the fire appeared to have originated in the nearby pantry," said spokeswoman Cynthia Schuster.

The homeowner said he threw out some cigarette butts and ash into a garbage can in the pantry, the can also containing other refuse and paper.

"About 20 minutes later, he was alerted by a smoke detector and returned to the kitchen to find the pantry in flames, Schuster said.

The man put the fire out by using bowls of water, and alos discharged a fire extinguisher on the flames.

Damage extended from the pantry into the kitchen and dining areas of the residence.

"The occupant was evaluated by paramedics and treated on scene for fire-related injuries, but he was not taken to the hospital," Schuster said.

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Bill Novak is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.

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