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Industrial solvents blamed for starting small fire at Gleneagle secondary

Industrial solvents are being blamed for causing a minor fire at Gleneagle secondary Monday night.  - TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO
Industrial solvents are being blamed for causing a minor fire at Gleneagle secondary Monday night.
— image credit: TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO

Industrial solvents are being blamed for causing a minor fire at Gleneagle secondary Monday night.

Earlier in the day, piles of carpets were removed and dumped next to a metal door outside the main building. Fire investigators believe that solvents used to weaken the glue holding down the carpets may have heated up and caught fire.

"I think we had a bit of spontaneous combustion," said Coquitlam fire chief Wade Pierlot. "If you take a solvent rag and even if you ring it out, in the proper conditions it will catch on fire."

Fortunately, the fire was outdoors and underneath one of the school's sprinklers. By the time firefighters arrived, most of the flames had been extinguished and crews were mainly dealing with steam.

The rug pile was pulled apart and doused with water, Pierlot said, in order to ensure that the fire did not start again. School District 43 is disposing of the material.

Damage was fairly limited, Pierlot added, noting that flames had caused a slight discolouration on the door next to the pile of burning carpets.

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

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