(Harris County Fire Marshal’s fire investigation results and KHOU in depth piece can be found below)
Last night (7/6/17 @ approx. 11:30 pm) HCESD 48 responded to a residential fire call on Carey Ridge Ct. near Greenhouse and I-10. The first crews responding made a fast attack and contained the bulk of the fire to the garage by quickly cutting off the fire’s advance through the breezeway between the garage and the house. This quick action by Westlake’s Squad 42 prevented the fire from extending into the house and beyond. In the video below, you can see a firefighter to the right of the screen on the far side of the metal gate (approx. 0:14) walk under the breezeway. If you look closely you will see that crews have already opened up this area and cut off the fire from advancing so they can focus on the fire in the garage.
Many houses with detached garages in the Katy area were built with breezeways that may not have firebreaks that would prevent or at least slow the fire’s progress into the home. If you have this type of construction or know somebody who does please check to see that there are firebreaks in place. If you are unsure or would like some assistance, we check this as well as a number of other potential fire hazards as part of our FREE Home Safety Survey program. You can learn more about this program and even schedule an appointment for your own survey on our website at http://www.hcesd48.org/home-safety
Please SHARE our original post with friends and neighbors who may have a similar breezeway. You can find our post here: HCESD 48 Facebook Page
KHOU did an in-depth piece on this fire and our safety warning and it can be viewed here: http://www.khou.com/mb/news/local/warning-from-firefighters-after-detached-garage-burns/455024714
Thank you to our great mutual aid partners: Westlake Volunteer Fire Department, Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department, Katy Fire Department, Houston Fire Department, and Harris County Fire Marshal #TeamWork
Updated Friday July 7th @ 3:22pm:
HCFMO investigators, at the request of Harris County ESD 48 Fire Department, responded to a house fire early this morning at approximately 12:30 a.m. HCFMO investigators have determined the fire was caused by spontaneous combustion of linseed oil rags. The fire has been ruled accidental.
Below are some safety tips on oily rags:
Never leave cleaning rags in a pile. At the end of the day, take the rags outside to dry.
Hang the rags outside or spread them on the ground. Weigh them down. Do this so they do not blow away. Make sure they are not in a pile. Keep them away from buildings.
Put dried rags in a metal container. Make sure the cover is tight. Fill the container with a water and detergent solution. This will break down the oils.
Keep containers of oily rags in a cool place. Keep them out of direct sunlight. Keep them away from other heat sources. Check with your town for information on disposing of them.