Smoldering rags were cited Monday as the cause for a smoky haze and odor filling the Oeno Wine Bar in Old Town.
Wichita firefighters responded to a call shortly before 1:30 p.m. and found the rags that had been used in the kitchen or bar smoldering on a shelf in a storage area, Capt. Stuart Bevis said.
The rags had been laundered and were put on the shelf after being taken out of the dryer, Bevis said. That’s when spontaneous combustion took over.
“You never quite get all of the cooking oils out of the rags,” Bevis said. “They were a little warm from the dryer.”
The damage was contained to the rags. Not even the shelf was damaged, he said.
But the event did bring a significant response from the fire department.
“We’d rather it turn out this way than the other way,” Bevis said.
Firefighters used fans to help clear out the smoke.