Oily rag behind blaze

Last updated 05:00 12/11/2012

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A discarded rag soaked with linseed oil was the cause of a fire at Gore High School on Friday night, which caused moderate heat and smoke damage to the metal workshop in the school's technical block.

Gore fire chief Steve Lee said a fire safety investigation had been done and the cause of the fire was a rag with linseed oil, which had generated heat and ignited a cabinet and tool box close by.

A caretaker phoned 111 at 9.48pm and two appliances responded. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the building and contained the fire, he said.

Crews were at the high school until about midnight.

Mr Lee said a safer practice would have been to lay the rag flat outside or hang it up in the open air.

There had been a good response by both the caretaker and the fire brigade.

"It was a good save."

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- The Southland Times

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