A fire at the Union Gospel Mission on Trent late Tuesday evening was caused by improperly stored oily rags, according to the Spokane Fire Department.
SFD teams found the fire contained in a storage room near the kitchen. The building was evacuated and smoke filled the space.
Firefighters stayed at UGM for two hours, ventilating the building. Damage was contained to the storage room and surrounding sheet rock. Fortunately, no one was injured.
The SFD reminded the public that when oily laundry is improperly stored (in a pile), the oil is slowly heated to its ignition point which can result in eventual ignition of the oil and laundry.
Oily rags and laundry should first be dried in a safe area outside and then stored in an airtight, non-combustible container with a tight-fitting lid. Cover the rags completely with a solution of water and an oil breakdown detergent.