A residential fire in Egmont Bay Monday may have started spontaneously in a hamper containing clothing stained by a flammable liquid.
Yvon Gallant's mobile home on Route 11, which he bought in April and was renovating was gutted by the fire that was reported about 12:30 p.m. Monday.
The exact cause will not be known, said Dave Rossiter, provincial fire marshal. The official cause of the fire is undetermined, said his report released Thursday.
On the other hand, he has his suspicions.
"(The) probable cause is attributed to the ignition of clothing which was soiled with a flammable liquid and then self-heated to the ignition point when left in a clothes hamper," said the report.
Oil-soaked rags or towels present a great risk for fires, said the office of the fire marshal Thursday, and it urged Islanders to use caution when storing or discarding fabric soiled with flammable liquids
It offered the following suggestions:
- Soak up oil spills with rags or old towels. If keeping rags, wash them in warm soapy water or use a a de-greaser.
- Do not dry oily rags or towels in a dryer (even if washed).
- Hang the fabric outside to dry if possible. If drying inside, keep them well away from heat sources such a furnaces and water heaters.
- If discarding oily rags, hang outside to dry before putting them in a trash bin or garbage bag.
- Never leave hot/damp clothes or linens in a pile; spread them out to cool off. Always allow linens to dry and cool before stacking.