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Watertown firefighters quickly extinguish two house fires; damage minimal

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Watertown city firefighters responded to two unrelated porch fires Sunday morning that firefighters say were caused by careless smoking.

Firefighters first were called to a single-family house at 329 N. California Ave. shortly after 10 a.m., to find the back porch on fire. It took just a few minutes to extinguish the fire, said Fire Chief Dale C. Herman.

The porch and an exterior wall were damaged, Chief Herman said. The owner of the house is Matthew J. Jessman.

About 90 minutes later, firefighters went to a single-family house at 686 S. Hamilton St., where a fire was contained to the porch. No one was home at the time, so firefighters had to gain entry, Chief Herman said. Some smoke got into the residence, which is owned by Stephen C. Howell, Pooler, Ga. Amanda Crites lives there.

The fire was put out within a few minutes, Chief Herman said.

In both instances, a discarded cigarette caused the fire, he said. No one was injured in either fire.

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