Took this one out of the local paper: Butt destroys car Saturday, 28 January 2006 AN ELDERLY Ballarat woman had a lucky escape after her car was set alight by a cigarette that was flicked through its window. Beryl Breen, 74, was driving on Wednesday about 5.30pm when she saw something that she thought was a leaf fly in the driver's side window. She turned around to see smoke billowing from the back seat of her car. Ms Breen managed to pull the car over in Sturt St near Little Bridge St, where a man came to her aid and helped her out of the vehicle as flames were licking the back of her seat. "I turned around and pitch black smoke was billowing up," she said. "A young man almost picked me up and carried me out of the car. "I just had to watch it burn. I was worried that it would explode and damage all of the other cars and shop windows." The flames reached metres in the air before three fire trucks from Ballarat and Wendouree extinguished the fire after 30 minutes. Ms Breen said she believed someone in a car passing her had flicked a cigarette out their window and the wind had carried it into her car. "I don't think it was thrown into my car on purpose, but the wind just carried it in through the window.'" Ms Breen's beloved 23-year-old Ford Laser was destroyed in the blaze and she has been left with no mode of transport. "That car was such a darling and it never gave me any trouble," she said. "I don't know what I'll do now, because I'm waiting on a hip replacement and I can't walk far." Ballarat Police Sergeant Mark Armstrong said people who threw burning cigarette butts on the street faced harsh penalties. "The fine for littering is $105, and the fine for depositing burning litter is $210," Sgt Armstrong said. "It's not tolerated any time of year, but it's particularly serious this time of year, given the fires around the state," he said. Why do people still insist on chucking cigarette butts out of car windows, especially during times of high fire risk.