Smoking has been snuffed out — and maybe all future fires — at Hillsborough Pointe apartments in northwest Omaha.
Shawn Knudsen, manager of the apartments northwest of 144th Street and West Maple Road, said Tuesday the ban applies to all property at the 480-apartment, 20-building complex.
The apartments have had three fires in the past 13 months.
“Nobody will be allowed to be grandfathered in,'' he said about the immediate change in policy.
The State Fire Marshal's Office said the latest fire, which occurred about 2 p.m. Friday in one of the buildings, was the result of careless disposal of smoking materials.
Knudsen said the two previous fires — in March and December 2012 — also were blamed on careless disposal of cigarettes.
The latest fire began on a third-floor unit's deck that included a bucket full of cigarette butts, he said.
After the March fire, Hillsborough Pointe installed sprinkler systems on apartment decks, which helped tamp down Friday's blaze that was fueled by stiff winds, Knudsen said.
Residents from 12 units were displaced, he said, and they were moved into vacant apartments. One person was taken to a hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.
About 30 tenants were displaced in both the March and December 2012 fires.
The latest fire occurred in a building that was partly smoke-free, Knudsen said, with the blaze starting in the smokers' portion.
Knudsen said he had been working with tenants and their leases on converting the entire building into a smoke-free zone.
The building that was damaged in March's fire became smoke-free Jan. 1, he said.