Firefighters believe a bird carrying a lit cigarette to its nest ignited a fire in an apartment building last night in London. Four engines and 21 firefighters were required to fight the blaze, which damaged about a fifth of the building’s roof. Nine people were forced to evacuate.
A fire brigade investigator interviewed at the scene took the opportunity to try out some new stand-up material.
“The smoking gun was found when we discovered a partially burnt birds nest,” Matt Cullen told the BBC. “When we got up into the roof, we were baffled as there were no obvious ignition sources…. Neighbors 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 smoldering and dropped it into the nest, causing it to catch fire and set the roof alight.”
In 2013, by the way, another smoking pigeon dropped a cig down a chimney and started a house fire, according to the BBC. That’s two smoking pigeons in two years. One more and it’s time to call a spade a spade: the birds are trying to kill us.