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No injuries are reported; spontaneous combustion is determined to be the cause of house fire.

COURTESY PHOTO: WOODBURN FIRE - A fire ignited through spontaneuos combustion outside a Woodburn home ultimately wreaked damages throughout. A family of four was asleep when the fire ignited but escaped the residence safely.Fire officials are advising people to be leery of conditions that can lead to spontaneous combustion after an early-morning house fire in Woodburn displaced a family earlier this week.

Woodburn Fire District responded to a one-story house fire in the 1600 block of Tomlin Avenue at around 1 a.m. Monday, July 18. The fire started on the home's exterior and then spread rapidly in a pile of debris stored against the home before extending into a large bedroom window that failed due to fire impingement.

The first crews to arrive handled the exterior fire quickly. Firefighters then entered the house, which had smoke billowing from the roof eaves and attic vents, and extinguished the fire in the bedroom into which it had spread from outside.

Crews searched the structure for trapped occupants. They discovered a family of four had been sleeping when the fire started and escaped before firefighters arrived.COURTESY PHOTO: WOODBURN FIRE - A fire that started outside a Woodburn home created tremendous damage to its interior.

WFD Chief Joe Budge said firefighters had zero visibility and encountered high heat upon entry into the structure. The fire heavily damaged the west exterior of the home, the attic and roof structure and one bedroom.

Firefighters pulled down ceiling drywall to expose and extinguish the fire that had fully involved the entire attic space. Heavy smoke conditions throughout the home and the need for ceiling removal and water application in the attic damaged the contents in all rooms of the residence.

The fire's intensity also blistered paint and melted the vinyl windows on an adjacent home.

With the help of the home's security video, fire investigators determined that a trash bag filled with rags used to clean up an oil-based stain caused the spontaneous ignition of the fire.

Firefighters from Hubbard, Mount Angel, Aurora and Marion County Fire District No. 1 assisted WFD in fighting the blaze. Woodburn Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) provided rehab for the firefighters working at the scene.

Reminder: Don't store combustible materials

WFD reminded homeowners to use caution when working with oil-based stains and finishes.

Spontaneous combustion of oily rags occurs when a rag or cloth used in the product application or clean-up is slowly heated to its ignition point through oxidation that releases heat. If the heat has no way to escape, like in a pile or sealed garbage bag, the temperature will rise to a level high enough to ignite the oil and the rag or cloth.COURTESY PHOTO: WOODBURN FIRE - Side of a home that was severely damaged by an early Monday morning fire.

Metal containers should be used to store such rags, and those containers must be stored outside on a noncombustible surface until fully dry before disposing.

Homeowners should also avoid the storage of combustible materials against the exterior of their home. An exterior fire will quickly break windows and extend into the living spaces of the home and into the attic through ventilation openings.

For information about serving as a volunteer firefighter or CERT member, visit the Woodburn Fire website.


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