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Furniture stain ignites blaze in Turlock warehouse
fire freitas
A stain-soaked rag sparked a fire inside a Turlock warehouse Wednesday night. - photo by Photo contributed by the Turlock Fire Department

Efforts to restore an old piece of furniture ignited a fire inside a commercial structure Wednesday evening in Turlock.

The fire was reported inside a commercial building at 1450 Freitas Park. It was first reported to the fire department by a motorist on Highway 99 that noticed smoke creeping out of the structure.

The first fire crews to arrive at the scene found thick, black smoke coming from the metal commercial building and made a forced entry into the building, where they found a growing blaze.

The overall damage was kept to a minimum due to early notification and a rapid response, said Turlock Fire Chief Robert Talloni.

“Ladder Truck 31 and Engine 31 were first on scene and worked in a coordinated effort under Battalion Chief Bill Becker to confine and extinguish the fire before it spread throughout the warehouse.”

The investigation into the fire revealed that the fire was caused by rags left over from a furniture staining project. Oil, especially linseed oil, and stain-soaked rags can spontaneously combust over time. Turlock Fire urged the careful use and placement of oil and/or stain-soaked rags, and Fire Marshal Mark Gomez suggested all rags used with flammable or combustible material should be stored in an approved airtight fireproof container with a self-closing lid.

Turlock Fire responded with the Fire Chief, one Battalion Chief, one Truck Company and three Engine Companies. Ceres Fire and Turlock Rural Fire District assisted with staffing on scene and city coverage during the incident. Assisting agencies included Turlock Police, American Medical Response, and crews from the Turlock Irrigation District.