OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego Fire Department responded to a “smoke condition” at 209 W. First St., today (Jan. 13) at 5:57a.m.
The cause most likely was due to spontaneous combustion, a condition that has caused a number of fires locally in the past few years, according to Jeff McCrobie, fire chief.
There was “minimal damage,” he added.
Spontaneous combustion is a condition where oily laundry (from many sources including cleaning and cooking) is left in a pile or container and the combustible or flammable substance is slowly heated to the point of ignition.
This often happens in commercial or business operations where a higher quantity of debris is generated such as restaurants, spas and health clubs, industrial facilities and laundry facilities.
To avoid this condition, wash only similarly contaminated goods together to cut down the chance of different chemicals reacting, do not let the soiled items sit for a long time, store in a well ventilated area and be sure to thoroughly wash items before the drying process.
Items not thoroughly washed have ignited when the dryer heat is introduced.
“ Many times during the process of combustion, the ignition of items happens after closing or when the rooms are unoccupied leading to further damage to the structures,” McCrobie added. “Hopefully this reminder may stop these incidents from happening.”
For further information on this or other fire safety concerns, call the Oswego Fire Department at 343-2161.