Investigators said spontaneous combustion from oil-stained rags was the source of a fire that gutted a home in Campbell River on Sunday.
Campbell River Fire Chief Thomas Doherty said Friday the cause and origin of the fire were oil-stained rags and mineral oil rags that were stored in the garage.
Eighteen firefighters were called to the blaze on Joanne Drive at around 12:33 p.m. They were able to extinguish the fire and stop it from spreading to the house next door. However, some vinyl at that house was damaged by the heat from the flames.
WATCH: Flames tear through a house on Joanne Drive in Campbell River on Aug. 19, 2018. Video courtesy of Chad Prystupa.
Two people were inside the home at the time of the fire. They were able to escape without injuries but a kitten did die in the fire.
Doherty said it’s important to dispose of oily rags in non-combustible containers as the rags can generate heat in a confined area. Spontaneous combustion of oily rags happens when a rag or cloth is heated to its ignition point through oxidation.
“Definitely adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations on storage and handling,” Doherty said.