CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Over the weekend, a residential structure fire caused by the improper storage of chemicals became the fifth red light on the preventable fires wreath hanging at Fire Station 4 in Cape Coral.
Rags, oils, spray paint, and cleaning agents of varying ages were stored in a cabinet in the garage. Leaking chemicals combined with absorbent cotton and synthetic materials resulted in spontaneous combustion.
Two neighbors, one a retired Miami Dade firefighter, saw the fire and alerted residents before extinguishing it with two garden hoses.
Fortunately, there were no injuries, but the building inspector red-tagged the garage and yellow tagged the house, as they are now unfit for occupancy.
It is important to read all warning labels on chemicals and ensure they are properly stored.
Never place hazardous materials or household chemicals with curbside collection. For disposal, household chemicals should be taken to the Topaz Court Solid Waste Facility, 6441 Topaz Court, in Fort Myers.
The City also has regular bulk and hazardous materials drop off events. The next one is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 6, from 7 to 11 am at 1020 Cultural Park Blvd., the parking lot across from City Hall.