Fire fighters spent six hours battling blaze in Chulmleigh caused by teak oil on Thursday.

FIRE FIGHTERS are warning of the ‘hidden danger’ of furniture oil after a severe garage blaze in Chulmleigh last week.

Fire investigation officers discovered teak oil was responsible for the blaze on Thursday which took fire fighters more than six hours to battle.

Andy Justice, Fire Investigation Manager, said: “Users of such oils tend to apply the oil using a rag, which during use becomes heavily absorbed.

“In this incident it is understood that the rag was discarded whilst still heavily contaminated, which then resulted in it self-heating to the point of ignition.”

A spokesman for Devon Fire and Rescue Service said: “Linseed oil is a major constituent of teak oil, which is readily known react exothermically and generate heat under ideal conditions.

“Users of such oils are reminded to follow manufacturer’s instructions and labels by ensuring that after use any contaminated rags are fully washed in warm soapy water before disposal.”

Alternatively, the fire service advises users to either hang the rag out to dry on a washing line before disposing of it, or store rags in an airtight, preferably metal container.

Three fire crews from Chulmleigh, Witheridge and South Molton were called to the blaze on Thursday in Park Mill Lane, just after midnight.

By 6.30am the fire was reported to be out and the garage, including a car inside, was left severely damaged.