Deputy Fire Marshal Brad Wiggins said the fire could have been much worse. “Given the time of night, the number of residents and the fact that many of them need assistance moving around, things could have been worse,” Wiggins said. “The sprinkler system, the fire alarm system and Park Vista staff did their job and that is the reason for the positive outcome.”
The fire was caused by a chemical reaction from oily rags piled in a basket, Faucett said. The rags had been used to clean ovens and were soaked in grease. He said it is common for fabric material that has been soaked in oil to have a chemical reaction that will heat up to the point of ignition.
Giving oily rags a run-through in a washing machine typically won’t remove the oils, he noted.
Fire department officials said the fire was the second this year that SKFR has responded to where a single sprinkler has saved a commercial structure from fire loss.