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Ventura County Focus | East County / SIMI VALLEY

Fire at Shop Blamed on Oil-Soaked Rags

April 24, 1998|COLL METCALFE

County fire investigators have determined that a fire that gutted a Simi Valley business and damaged a second was caused after rags soaked in linseed oil spontaneously ignited.

The 90-minute blaze, which started shortly before 5 a.m. Wednesday in a business in a complex at 580 Easy St., burned fast and hot, destroying Randy Miller's RFP Welding shop as well as a unit containing several of his vintage cars.

Fire officials estimated the loss at about $500,000.

According to county Fire Department spokeswoman Sandi Wells, the rags were improperly stored and, after sitting for a long period, ignited, with flames spreading quickly throughout the 8,000-square-foot shop as they fed on chemicals and combustible welding gas.

No injuries were reported.

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