Press release from Humboldt Bay Fire:

At 6:45 PM on 09-03-15, Humboldt Bay Fire Engines 8113, 8112, 8115, Truck 8181, Battalions 8104 and 8109 responded to a structure fire on the 800 block of Madrone Street. The occupant of the residence had been notified by neighbors and a passerby of a small fire in an unattached garage.

The neighbors and passerby took immediate action after dialing 911 by using a garden hose and they controlled a small fire inside the garage door.

Arriving fire crews removed damaged items, checked for fire extension in the roof area and extinguished hot spots.

The cause and origin investigation shows the fire was caused by spontaneous combustion of discarded rags used for staining a deck. The rags were stored in a plastic bucket just inside the door.

Damage was minor to the structure and to the contents.

Humboldt Bay Fire reminds all residents to ensure proper handling of oily rags. Spontaneous combustion is common in oily rags that are wadded together especially after soaking with linseed oil based products used for wood finishing. Place used rags in a metal airtight container or soak the rags in water. Never store oily rags inside a structure!