RACINE – An early morning fire here Friday damaged the exterior deck of a multi-family home at 203 Howland Avenue.

The Racine Fire Department was called to the residence at 2:26 a.m. Friday. The fire was confined to the wooden deck at the rear and was prevented from spreading to the interior of the home where five people were sleeping. No one was injured.

The fire caused an estimated $4,000 in damage to the deck, the house siding, and patio furniture. An investigation determined that it was caused by either careless use of smoking material or careless use of a burn pit. Residents are reminded to use approved burn pits that have a screen on top to prevent embers from escaping and starting unwanted fires.