ASHBURN, Va. (WDVM) — The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office reports the fire that damaged eight homes on Wednesday was accidental and caused $1.5 million in damages.
Investigators say the fire was caused by the spontaneous combustion of improperly disposed oily rags at 3:24 in the morning on July 31.
“Spontaneous combustion is when a product builds up heat over time,” said Fire Chief Keith Johnson. “A fire will start on its own without any other interaction of a spark, or a light, or anything like that. It’s the heat build up that causes the product to ignite and catch fire.”
The home where the fire began was unoccupied at the time of the incident and the residents of the other three homes were out of the area. One firefighter was treated for a minor burn injury.
Read about how to safely dispose of oily rags here.