Calgary, AB,

Calgary fire crews fight early morning fire in Dalhousie

At approximately 1:30 early Thursday morning June 4, the Calgary Fire Department (CFD) responded to a single family residence in Dalhousie on Dalcastle Drive N.W. for multiple reports of a fire. When fire crews arrived, they encountered a fully involved garage with flames spreading to the second floor of the attached home.

Two adult residents safely self-evacuated with their dog prior to CFD arrival on scene. Firefighters found and rescued their missing cat.

Firefighters had the fire under control by 2:15 in the morning and then remained on scene to look for any extension and extinguish hot spots.

No injuries were reported as a result of this fire. A fire investigator went to the scene to determine the origin and cause. The fire started in the garage with a possible cause being the spontaneous combustion of some linseed oil soaked rags that had been placed there after being used to stain a shed. This fire is being considered accidental in nature. 

The Calgary Fire Department would like to share the following information regarding home improvement projects which involve the use of flammable and combustible liquids:

It is common to use rags to wipe up spills, clean brushes or apply stain. But wet rags can ignite on their own. They can start a fire if not handled carefully. The oils commonly used in oil-based paints and stains release heat as they dry. If the heat is not released in the air, it builds up. That is why a pile of oily rags can be dangerous. As the rags dry, the heat is trapped. The heat builds up and finally causes a fire. Be aware that this does not happen with water-based finishes.

  • Oily and solvent-wet rags can combust without a heat source. Always store them in a tightly-sealed metal container. Make sure the cover is tight. Fill the container with a water and a detergent solution. This will break down the oils.
  • Never leave cleaning rags in a pile. At the end of the day, leave the rags outside to dry on some concrete or another noncombustible surface.
  • Hang the rags outside or spread them on the ground. Weigh them down. Do this so they do not blow away. Make sure they are not in a pile. Keep them away from buildings.
  • Always use the product according to the manufacturers instructions. 

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