Greasy rags suspected of causing fire

Greasy rags are suspected of causing a fire at the back of a commercial kitchen cleaning company’s warehouse in west Santa Rosa on Wednesday night, a fire official said.

The fire was reported at 8:10 p.m. at the North Bay Restaurant Services company at 437 W. Ninth St., Assistant Fire Marshal Paul Lowenthal said. The company cleans oven hoods and flues, pumps grease traps and recycles fryer oil at commercial kitchens in the North Bay.

The fire caused significant fire damage to a second floor mezzanine of the 5,000-square-foot Quonset hut warehouse, Lowenthal said.

Firefighters controlled the blaze within 30 minutes. A large fan on the outside rear of the building drew flames to the front of the structure, he said.

Flames were seen coming out of windows and the joints of the ribbed-structure. Building inspectors today are reviewing the damage, which is estimated between $100,000 and $150,000, Lowenthal said.

The fire closed West Ninth Street between North Dutton Avenue and Saracen Road for about 90 minutes, Lowenthal said.