‘Spontaneous combustion’ cause of fire in Abbotsford

The incident on Tuesday damaged an apartment suite on Gladwin Road.

  • Sep. 25, 2013 7:00 p.m.

A fire that is believed to have begun through spontaneous combustion resulted in about $30,000 in damages to an apartment unit in Abbotsford on Tuesday afternoon.

Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service was called to the Cedars at Centennial Court apartment building at 2451 Gladwin Rd. just before 3 p.m.

Crews entered an empty suite, where they discovered a sprinkler head had been activated and there was a small fire in the washing machine.

Duty Chief Jeff Adams said the homeowner had recently stained cabinets with tung oil finish and was washing the rags in the washing machine.

Fire, smoke and water damage to the unit could reach as high as $30,000, he said.

Adams said products which have a high tendency to heat spontaneously include tung oil and linseed oil (commonly used in furniture refinishing), fish meal, fish oil, alfalfa meal, cod liver oil, corn meal feeds, oiled fabrics, oiled rags, peanuts, varnished fabrics, and charcoal.

“All materials exposed to these oils should be stored in closed containers, preferably metal, and in small quantities. These containers should be stored outdoors,” he said.