Earthquakes damage areas with things that start fires, the earthquake itself doesn’t start a fire. For example, an earthquake might rip a power line, which could fall and then start a fire. Or, a coal furnace might be broken and start a fire. This is how the fires started in the 1906 San Fran Earthquake
The main reason earthquakes cause fires is by disrupting gas lines and power lines. The fires are often difficult to control if water lines are also disrupted. Chemical, electrical and gas safety is extremely important during as well as after an earthquake. Using candles or fire for heat or cooking when the power is out as a result of an earthquake also leads to post-earthquake fires.
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