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Huntington Street fire caused by oily rags, Concord fire marshal concludes

The fire Monday night that damaged an apartment building on Huntington Street was caused by poorly stored rags soaked in linseed oil, according to the Concord Fire Department.

"Spontaneous combustion caused the rags to ignite and the fire spread to nearby materials and throughout all levels of the structure," the department said in a statement this morning.

The fire, at 12 Huntington St. / 74 School St., was brought under control Monday night with what the department characterized as minimal damage in the three-floor building.

In a statement, city Fire Marshal Sean Brown said: “It is important for the public to be aware of the safe handling of oil soaked rags. The occasional user of rags that may become soaked with oil should lay the rags flat on the ground outside (pavement or dirt) and allow the rags to dry. The dry rags should then be placed in air-tight metal container and the container should then be filled with water and sealed. The container should be disposed of during household hazardous materials collection days. Persons or businesses that regularly use rags that may become soaked with oil should utilize listed containers designed for oily rags and make arrangements for a waste disposal company to collect the rags.”

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