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Oily Rags Lead to Ellicott City Fire

Crews were able to keep a garage fire from spreading into a home.

Fire crews spent an hour and a half this weekend fighting a garage fire to keep it from spreading to a home in Ellicott City, according to officials. 

Firefighters from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) received an alarm and a call at about 6 a.m. Sunday for a fire on the 5100 block of Britton Lane. 

According to HCDFRS spokesperson Adam Nolder, when crews arrived at the scene, they saw smoke coming from an attached garage. Crews used saws to open up the garage door. Once inside, firefighters extinguished the fire in the garage, preventing it from spreading to the rest of the house, according to Nolder.

Damage to the house and garage contents was estimated about $13,000, according to Nolder. No firefighters were injured and the residents had gotten out and were outside when firefighters arrived on the scene.

Fire investigators determined that improperly disposed oily rags started the fire. When put in unventilated containers or bags, oily rags can spontaneously combust. 

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