Spontaneous combustion blamed in Texas fire

(KXAN/NBC News) – Investigators say improperly stored rags used in a staining project are to blame for a Texas house fire.

Lt. Jack Frost with the Westlake Fire Department says the homeowners were drinking their morning coffee when their smoke alarm went off.

Crews were able to quickly bring the fire under control, but not before it caused and estimated $150,000 in damage.

It reportedly started as a “spontaneous combustion.” The homeowners had been staining their deck and put the rags in a garage trash can.

“It’s devastating damage from just a little piece of material,” said Lt. Frost while holding up the burned rags that started the fire.

Lt. Frost says people need to leave rags out to dry before tossing them or put them in a container filled with water and seal the lid. Also, when using flammable chemicals it’s always smart to read the warnings and follow the instructions on the back of the container.

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