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Spontaneous combustion

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  • Spontaneous combustion

    The house next door to where I am remodeling a basement was sold. The new owners hired a flooring contractor, with whom I have had a 15 year working relationship, to refinish the hardwood floors. The workers dumped the sawdust in the driveway between the two houses, which are approximately 20 feet apart, and then somehow spilled or dumped flooring finish, I don't know what kind, on the pile. A huge fire was caused by spontaneous combustion of the finishing material and fed by the sawdust. Fortunately there were no injuries and the damage to both houses was limited to melting of the vinyl siding to above the second floor of both houses.

    In the past I have been only moderately vigilant about heeding warnings on the finishing cans as to the potential for spontaneous combustion thinking "...just some legal stuff to cover someone's butt." Well it is more than that. The stuff really has the potential to sopntaneously combust. I can assure you that my vigilance in the future will be hightened. I plan to dispose of rags etc. in a manner consistent with manufacturer's recommendations.