August 15—Seattle Fire Investigators determined spontaneous combustion is to blame for a fire that started inside a Ballard auto detail shop. Just a few minutes after 10pm, the first 911 caller reported hearing crackling and witnessed black smoke pouring from the one story commercial building located on the 1700 block of Ione Way NW.
Engine 18 was the first to arrive and saw heavy black smoke coming from inside the locked business. Once they were inside, firefighters found 6 foot flames coming from near a workbench at the back of the business. It took less than 10 minutes from the first water hitting the flames until the fire was extinguished. Fire crews used large industrial fans to clear the black smoke from the air inside the building.
A representative of the building’s owner told investigators the auto detail shop was locked up for two hours before the fire was reported. There was no one inside the business when the fire started.
Fire investigators are calling the fire an accidental fire caused by spontaneous combustion of rags thrown into plastic trash containers. The damage estimates are 10 thousand dollars for the structure and 10 thousand dollars to the contents. No cars were damaged by the flames but at least one car had smoke damage according to the businesses’s representative. There were no reported injuries.