Oily Rags And Spontaneous Combustion Blamed In $1-Million Fire: B93.3 FM : Lethbridge's #1 Hit Music Station : Lethbridge News, Alberta
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Oily Rags And Spontaneous Combustion Blamed In $1-Million Fire


LETHBRIDGE:  The fire that destroyed two two-storey homes on the corner of Canyonview Place West on Sunday afternoon, was likely caused by spontaneous ignition.


The fire started about 12:39 and consumed most of the two homes, resulting in more than $1-million in damage. Three-fire stations and 20-men were called to the scene but, when they arrived, the wind had already sent flames into another home. At that point, firefighters were only able to take a defensive stance and contain the blaze.

Fire Investigator Heath Wright says rags were used to soak up excess oil as a fence was being stained and disposed of in a garbage can which contained combustible material. The container allowed heat to build up and created the combustible situation.


Wright explained, "Witness statements provided information as to what was being done outside of one of the homes before the fire - an organic based staining material was being used". "It was on the west side of the building and from all indications, from pictures and witness statements, it appears that the fire originated on the west side and exterior portion of one building."


Wright confirms this type of fire has occurred in the city on previous occasions. He asks home owners to be careful about how fire prone material is disposed of, "A lot of these products, if they are organic, they have on their (containers) MSDS as well as a warning label right on the can itself, of how to dispose of it".


Wright also said, "From a Fire Department Prevention point of view, we'd like you to dispose of these materials in a non-combustible can or container with a non-combustible lid, so that if it does ignite, it won't re-ignite because it will have no oxygen to help feed it. Or, they can also use a non-combustible container with water it in, and submerge it (rags) in water".


Wright noted that the two homes destroyed were built to code, in terms of space between them. He says it was just unfortunate that the fire was between two homes, "The way the wind was blowing it created a swirling effect and between radiated heat from the flames where it impinged on the fence, as well as the swirling wind, it just impinged on the east side, even though it was a westward wind".


No residents were home at the time of the fire and no injuries are reported. At the scene on Sunday, Platoon Chief Greg Kveder said that neighbours were able to enter one home's garage and push three vehicles onto the driveway. The quick action saved the vehicles.


Posted on Monday, May 13, 2013 at 4/16/2014 12:22:00 PM
Source: Tristan Tuckett - (@TristanTuckett on Twitter) -- Country 95 News Photo credits
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