South Burlington house fire under investigation - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

South Burlington house fire under investigation

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Dave Ross saw flames burst into the sky in his backyard. A fire Monday night at an unfinished home behind his rental property burned the siding off his house.

"The heat was intense," Ross said. “The whole place just went up."

Within minutes the South Burlington Fire Department arrived, but the home at 27 Birch Street was already fully engulfed.

Neighbor Michelle Pelletier was astonished at how loud the blaze was. “I was getting ready for bed and it sounded like rain."

That is when Pelletier realized her neighbor's "baby" was burning to the ground.

“In minutes it was just up in flames,” Pelletier explained. “The whole house was in flames."

Pelletier says the property's owner had slowly built the home by hand over the last seven years. After finishing wood floors earlier in the day, firefighters say he left oily rags in a bucket. When the chemicals overheated, they melted through the bucket and spontaneously combusted.

According to Chris Corbin of the South Burlington Fire Department, Monday marked the third time this month that a home has caught fire due to rags.

Investigators say there are simple steps you can take to avoid similar disasters.

"The best solution usually is using the rags and then putting them in some metal air tight container,” Corbin said. Paint cans or ash buckets are best.

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