- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 1, 2015

NEWPORT, Vt. (AP) - A fire in a downtown Newport, Vermont, business block caused only $5,000 in smoke damage but is prompting a warning from state fire marshals about spontaneous combustion.

Authorities say firefighters were called to the Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center just before midnight Monday and found the building full of smoke.

The source turned out to be a bag of towels that had been used for cleaning, laundered and then put in the bag while still hot. The heavily smoking bag was in a shopping cart, and when firefighters pushed the cart outside, it burst into flames.

Authorities say it’s best to store rags and towels that have oil or grease or other chemicals on them in an area that allows good ventilation, so as to guard against spontaneous heating.

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