SPRINGFIELD -- Firefighters have seen a trend this week they say needs to stop. At least two fires, possibly three, were caused by careless smoking.
Firefighters call it disheartening saying none of this should have happened.
A fire Friday morning at Villa Park Apartments and the other Sunday at the Golden Pond Apartments have left dozens of people homeless.
The American Red Cross Greater Ozarks Chapter is still helping several of these families by providing shelter, clothes, and food.
The Red Cross is helping more than 40 families in the Ozarks dealing with the aftermath of house or apartment fires.
Firefighters say in most cases (careless smoking), these fires are determined as an accident, but that doesn't always mean the smoker will not pay.
"This individual had the option of putting out the cigarette appropriately. Obviously the apartment owners may have an opportunity to press charges or take this individual to court," said Asst. Chief Randy Villines with the Springfield Fire Department.