Oil-stained items ignite $100,000 NW Bend house fire

Home was under construction; FD offers safety tips

Oily rags cause structure fire

BEND, Ore. - A fire that caused $100,000 damage to a home under construction in northwest Bend's Old Town neighborhood early Sunday was traced to improper disposal of oil-stained painting supplies, fire investigators said.

Bend firefighters responded shortly before midnight to the home under construction at 154 NW Adams Place, at the corner of Adams and Delaware Avenue, said Deputy Fire Marshal Dan Derlacki.

Arriving crews found smoke and fire coming from the front of the unoccupied single-story home and were able to quickly contain and extinguish the blaze, Derlacki said. The homeowners live out of town, he added.

"The cause of the fire was found to be improperly disposed-of oil-stained painting supplies from the staining of the wood trim and doors in the newly built home," Derlacki said in a news release.

Damage was estimated at $80,000 to the building and $20,000 in contents.

OIl-stained rags -- especially from deck-staining projects -- cause major fires each year, officials say.

Derlacki went on to offer these tips:

"Bend Fire Departments everyone, home owners and professionals alike, that oil and stain soaked rags and paper from staining projects can spontaneously ignite if not properly disposed of. Natural oils will oxidize in the rags rapidly and produce enough heat to ignite if not disposed of properly, even without a flame or spark being present.

"Fires caused by improperly disposed of oily rags become more common this time of year with many spring cleaning and improvement projects being done all around us.

"There are some simple ways to prevent this type of fire at your home. Collect all rags and paper used in your project. Make sure to soak not only the rags you used to spread any oil or stain, but the drop cloth and over spray protection paper used.

"Submerse them in water in either a can or tight fitting plastic bag. This will keep the oils from heating up and causing a fire. Contact your local garbage company to find out their preferred disposal method once the rags have been sealed.

"If you wash out the rags, ensure you use a heavy duty detergent that will break down the oil or stain being used. Remove from the dryer immediately to ensure the dryer does not allow the heat to build up in the material."

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