A garage of a home in north Nanaimo was damaged by smoke and fire on the weekend.
Firefighters responded to the home on the 5500 block of Lost Lake Road shortly before 2 p.m. Saturday after rags used for refinishing furniture ignited spontaneously.
Smoke and minor fire damage were confined to the garage and no one was injured.
Rick Kwasnecha, Nanaimo Fire Rescue fire prevention officer, said rags covered in oil can combust when they are kept in a confined space next with other flammable materials.
“It happens if you’re using an oil-based product, like linseed oil or something like that,” Kwasnecha said. “After use you should dispose of it in metal containers or outside or in water.”
Kwasnecha said oily rags should be kept separated from other combustible materials because the evaporation process in a confined area can cause heat to develop and rise to the point where materials reach ignition temperature.
“In this case there was a lot of garbage and recyclables,” he said. “It’s a common mistake, but it is something people should be aware of.”