Spontaneous heating blamed for starting garage fire - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Spontaneous heating blamed for starting garage fire


A Sunday night garage fire is being blamed on the spontaneous heating of rags used for staining wood.

Cedar Rapids firefighters were called to a garage fire at 337 24th Street NW just before 10:30 p.m. Sunday.

Crews arrived to find black marks above both doors of the detached garage.  When they opened the overhead door, they found flames on a wall and in the roof.

Firefighters were able to keep flames from spreading to the nearby house, but things in the garage, such as a car and bicycles were damaged.

The owner of the property, 79-year-old Jack Peet, told investigators that his grandson was staining woodwork on Sunday afternoon and put a can of stain and a pile of rags in the garage.

Investigators say that the pile of rags and towels spontaneously heated as temperatures rose inside the garage after it was closed.

No one was injured.

It is recommended that any materials used for staining, that contain grease or the material indicates is subject to spontaneous heating, are stored in a metal container with a lid. 

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