2 fires caused by oily rags hit east Tennessee town in month

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (AP) – An east Tennessee community is urging the proper storage and disposal of oil-soaked rags following the fourth fire involving spontaneous combustion in the past four years.

The city of Oak Ridge says in a news release that the Fraternal Order of the Eagles Lodge was heavily damaged by fire Saturday. The building was unoccupied.

The statement says the fire appears to be caused by spontaneous combustion from oily rags stored after being laundered. Washing and drying oil-soaked rags will not prevent spontaneous combustion.

The release says an Oak Ridge furniture shop fire on July 22 also was started by oily rags. The shop reopened after a few days.

The city says such rags should be kept in a covered metal container or laid out flat so the residue can evaporate prior to disposal.

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Categories: Regional News, State News-Tennessee