Cooking oils in the terry cloth towels caused the fire at Shamrock’s Pub & Grill.
St. Peters, MO (June 13, 2013)- Towels and rags are the likely cause of a fire that resulted in an estimated $25,000 in building and property damages to the Shamrock’s Pub & Grill at 4177 Veterans Memorial Parkway St. Peters, MO 63376.
Around 7 a.m. on Tuesday, June 11 Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) firefighters arrived on the scene of the two-alarm fire. “Fortunately, the fire was contained to the storage room, and no one was injured,” says CCFR Chief Russ Mason.
Security camera footage assisted in determining the apparent cause; a pile of towels that had been removed from the dryer and placed on a counter. “Hours later, after the restaurant closed, the video footage shows the pile of towels starting to smolder, then bursts into open flames,” says Mason.
The determination is that the cotton terrycloth towels that had contained cooking-oils caused the spontaneous combustion. Extensive smoke and equipment damage will likely cause the restaurant to be closed for at least a month.
“A normal washer and dryer cannot completely clean the cooking-oils from rags and towels. When they are piled together, especially after being in the heat of a dryer, they have the potential to spontaneously combust because the heat has no way to escape,” says Mason.
CCFR recommends businesses use a commercial laundry service to avoid these types of fires. If laundry is done on-site follow these tips:
– Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on all cleaning supplies and equipment
– Store laundry in a cool, well ventilated space
– Dry laundry at a cool temperature
– Do not leave soiled or freshly laundered items in a pile