Oily rags cause of Fairview laundry fire
September 14, 2004
Spontaneous combustion from oily linens is to blame for a fire Saturday that caused thousands of dollars in damage to a Carson City business.
“It appears to have been natural oils on dirty linens that happened to be stacked fairly tightly together, and the heat couldn’t escape,” said Battalion Chief Stacey Giomi.
“We probably have a spontaneous-combustion fire like this once every two or three years. All the conditions have to be right, and in this case they were,” Giomi said.
Spontaneous combustion is the ignition of a substance caused by a localized heat-increasing reaction between an oxidant and the fuel.
Giomi said the linens in which the fire began were stacked outside Mission Industries on Fairview Drive. The fire eventually jumped to the interior, activating two sprinkler heads that prevented its spread.
Damage was estimated at more than $100,000, Giomi said, “The activation of two sprinkler heads saved a multimillion-dollar facility. That’s a pretty impressive feat.”