The Barrie Fire Service says common, everyday linseed oil ignited a fire in Barrie that caused $100,000 in damage. Barrie Fire’s Samantha Hoffmann says this was the first instance of a fire caused by linseed oil in Barrie history.
Working fire on LETITIA near Leacock. Avoid the area. pic.twitter.com/VlUvWLZ9xd— Barrie Fire (@Barrie_Fire) June 26, 2019
Linseed oil is used to treat wood and is harmless when spread across a wooden surface. When concentrated in soaked rags or other debris, linseed oil can heat up and catch fire without a spark. “During the interview with the family, they had said they spilled some linseed oil earlier in the day, and had cleaned it up with some paper towel, and threw that paper towel in the garbage.” Hoffmann told Barrie 360 “As it starts to evaporate, it heats up. And it can very quickly get to its ignition temperature. In this case, no one was home at the time, so the fire was able to get quite extensive before anyone noticed.”
Hoffmann says linseed oil is quite flammable, but can be dealt with easily. “If you have any oil soaked rags, soak them down and put them in a metal tin and seal it, or leave them outside where they can completely dry.”
The Tuesday evening fire displaced a family of three, while there were no injuries reported.