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Spontaneous Combustion Ruins Wedding Reception

A family of four is safe tonight after fleeing their burning home. The fire stared just before 4:30am in Provo at 2803 West 880 North. Fire investigators say it was likely spontaneous combustion that ignited the flames.
PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 UTAH)-A family of four is safe tonight after fleeing their burning home. The fire stared just before 4:30am in Provo at 2803 West 880 North. Fire investigators say it was likely spontaneous combustion that ignited the flames.

The homeowners were preparing for a wedding reception in the backyard. So they stained the deck, but put the stain can and the dirty rags in the garage. Add in hot temperatures and that likely caused the fire.

Homeowner Steven Law had quite the wake up call.

“I noticed the smoke billowing out the front door and then I thought oh no and then I grabbed my phone put on some pajamas and then screamed fire everybody out
and I screamed from the top of my lungs,” sad homeowner Steven Law.

Everybody included his wife and two kids who all ran out of their homes seeing this fireball covering their garage. Hours later, they looked over the damage that includes priceless items that were being used for an upcoming wedding reception in the backyard. Now their old family antiques are nothing but ashes.

Two trunks that came over from Norway in 1883 that are just charcoal now and a radio that was my grandfathers from the 20s,” said Law.

Law watched his home, his safe place go up in flames while wondering how this could happen.

“A lot of things people may put in their garage, fuels, oily rags, fertilizers, solvents, any of those things can spontaneously combust in the right conditions,” said Provo Fie Department Captain Dean York.

Dirty rags after staining the deck preparing for the reception cause some $200,000 of damage. It was a simple mistake that could have been deadly.

“It takes three things to make a fire, it takes heat, fuel, and an oxygen source and when those things come together it can make a fire,” said York.

Provo Fire Captain Dean York says those items should be kept in a shed away from your home. A lesson learned for the Law Family who now look on the bright side.

When I sat out here watching that whole fireball I thought the whole house was going to go I thought we were going to lose everything we own but we didn’t and I feel so grateful,” said Law.

The family is grateful for the sheet rock between the garage and home and that fire wall prevented the entire house from going up in flames. While the family has insurance, it likely won’t cover the cost of the 2004 Mitsubishi Galant that was charred. It won’t replace the family antiques, either.
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