December 17, 2014

Investigators release cause of fire in Cedar Rapids saloon

Investigators say dirty rags that got overheated caused the Wednesday morning fire at a Cedar Rapids bar.

The Chrome Horse Saloon and Slop House in Cedar Rapids is heavily damaged by the fire. Investigators with the Cedar Rapids Fire Department say the fire started in a plastic bucket under a table in the kitchen. Towels and rags that had been used to clean the bar were in that bucket According to the fire department, those towels and rags smoldered for a while “before generating enough heat to result in spontaneous combustion.”

The bar’s owners had video cameras positioned around the place for security and they gave the Cedar Rapids fire department the dramatic video footage from the kitchen area, showing how the fire got started. You can find the video here.

Officials say this “unintentional” fire is a good reminder that rags or towels used to clean up grease and other potentially flammable materials “should be placed in a metal container with a lid.”