Bucket of oily rags spontaneously combusts, starts Bothell house fire

A bucket of oil-based rags placed in an attic spontaneously combusted from the outside heat and set off a house fire Wednesday afternoon, according to City of Bothell Fire and E.M.S.

At 2:50 p.m., crews from the City of Bothell Fire and E.M.S., Northshore Fire Department, Shoreline Fire Department, Woodinville Fire & Rescue and Snohomish Fire District 7 responded to a single-family residence structure fire located at 24229 15th Place S.E. in Bothell.

Upon arrival, firefighters found smoke coming from the attic of the house. The rags were used to re-paint the homeowner’s deck area yesterday and caused the fire, which spread to dry wood and plastic children’s toys before igniting the side of the house and spreading into the attic.

The homeowner was evacuated safely when the fire department arrived.  There are no firefighter injuries to report at this time.

Citizens are reminded to dispose of oil-based and other flammable liquids properly. “It is extremely important to dispose of oil-based substances in a metal container,” says Randy Parkhurst, Bothell Fire and E.M.S. Fire investigator.

The City of Bothell Fire and E.M.S. urges everyone to practice home-escape routes frequently and identify a meeting place outside.  Additionally, practice crawling low to the ground when escaping a fire. The No. 1 killer in residential fires is smoke inhalation, according to the department,  which asks families to have several working smoke alarms installed in their homes and check the batteries at least twice a year.

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