The spontaneous combustion of oily rags brought firefighters to the residence at 525 Moore Road in the Woodside Heights neighborhood at about 6:50 p.m. Monday, Aug. 9.
"It was pretty easily extinguished," Don Romero, a battalion chief for the Woodside Fire Protection District, told The Almanac. There were no injuries in the one-alarm fire, nor was there any damage to structures, he added.
Firefighters from the Woodside and Menlo Park fire protection districts and the Redwood City Fire Department responded to a 911 call by the resident.
Not all the firefighters who responded were needed and the whole operation lasted about 30 minutes, Mr. Romero said.
Contractors had used rags for staining wood and then put them inside a bag, he said. "We seem to have a problem with contractors using stain. We do have a fair number of fires caused by stain and rags," he said.
Oily rags in a confined place will likely ignite within "a couple of hours," Mr. Romero added.