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The original item was published from 5/29/2020 9:28:33 AM to 6/27/2020 12:00:05 AM.

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Charlottesville Fire News

Posted on: May 29, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Church fire caused by oily rags

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 29, 2020

CHURCH FIRE CAUSED BY OILY RAGS


CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - FIRE INVESTIGATORS DETERMINE OILY RAGS SPONTANEOUSLY CAUGHT FIRE AT THE UNIVERSITY BAPTIST CHURCH.  THE FIRE ALARM PROVIDED EARLY NOTIFICATION PREVENTING GREATER LOSS. 

Yesterday evening, just after 7:00 PM, firefighters from the Ridge Street Station were notified and arrived within minutes to the 1200 block of West Main Street.  The emergency crews immediately entered the church and began searching for the source of the smoke.  Firefighters found a small fire and extinguished it quickly.  No injuries were reported and minimal damage occurred at the University Baptist Church.

 The fire alarm installed and properly maintained by the church provided an early notification to the Charlottesville Fire Department who rapidly responded to prevent greater loss. 

 The city’s fire marshals determined oily rags used for refinishing wood fixtures by church volunteers, caught fire spontaneously, and burned in the sanctuary.  According to the National Fire Protection Association, oily rags contribute to more than 900 fires annually.  The fire marshals remind the community to never leave oily rags in a pile but instead take them outside and let them dry. 

Media Contact
Joe Powers
Deputy Chief
Charlottesville Fire Department
434-970-3528
powers@charlottesville.gov

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