‘Spontaneous combustion of kitchen waste’ cause of fire at Rutherford County store

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RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Several different agencies responded to a fire at a store in Rutherford County on Sunday.

It happened around 9:30 p.m. at the Four Corners Grocery and Deli in Eagleville. Crews arrived seeing smoke and flames coming from the store.

They were able to contain the fire and stop the ripple effect.

EFRD Chief Jonathan Armstrong said, “I knew the damage could be exponential if we didn’t work quickly to contain the fire.” 

Despite their best efforts, the fire did cause significant damage to the market. The mayor says the community will rally around the business.

Investigators say the cause of the fire is due to the spontaneous combustion of kitchen waste.

Lt./Asst. Fire Marshal Joshua Sanders said, “In this case, multiple rags used in the cleaning of the market’s kitchen were improperly discarded in a bucket inside the kitchen area. The cooking-oil soaked rags are prone to spontaneous heating phenomenon which results when the oils begin to oxidize, creating a significant amount of heat within the material.”

Sanders said this is the second time this type of fire happened at this business. The first was on October 13, 2020, when a clothes dryer containing the same types of rags caught fire.

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