Chemical-Covered Rag Ignited Building Fire in Ontario, Investigators Say

A fire that fully engulfed a commercial building in Ontario early Friday morning was started by at least one chemical-covered rag left inside the cabinet and furniture shop, officials said.

The blaze was reported about 1:40 a.m. when a witness noticed smoke coming from the building located in the 200 block of East Main Street, Ontario Fire Department Investigator Mike Gonzales said.

Video from the scene shows the flames shooting through the roof of the building as firefighters arrived.

Crews quickly changed their tactics when they noticed the fire threatening an adjacent structure.

“They made a stop with aggressive fire tactics and isolated the fire to the building of origin," Gonzales said.

The adjacent structure did sustain some water and smoke damage.

The building that was destroyed in the blaze was described as a furniture shop. Gonzales said video shows the fire starting from an area where a rag or rags were left out.

Investigators believe at least one rag that was covered in some type of chemical, possibly a stain, ignited the fire, he said.

It took firefighters just over an hour to extinguish the blaze. No injuries were reported.

Another commercial building caught fire on the same street Wednesday.

Investigators have determined the fires were not related.

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