Recreational fire burns down man's home - Tucson News Now

Recreational fire burns down man's home

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A 78-year-old local man lost his home to a violent fire caused by a handheld "Zippo" lighter this evening.

According to the Northwest Fire District, an older model single wide mobile in the 4700 block of North Camino Aire Fresco caught flame by a "Zippo" lighter used to create a recreational fire.

Police received the call just before 5:15 p.m. Twenty-one Northwest Fire District firefighters manning three engines, a ladder and additional support units arrived on scene to extinguished the fire in just over ten minutes.

Crews could not reach where the fire started in the rear of the trailer. Electric lines were damaged and the firefighters were concerned that power lines would fail and drop onto the flames. Tucson Electric Power de-energized the lines and the fire was extinguished.

The homeowner uses a wheelchair for movement assistance, and was outside of his trailer at the time of the incident. His neighbors were able to push him clear of the trailer without injury.

Northwest Fire investigators determined the fire was accidentally started when the homeowner did not close the lid on a "Zippo" brand lighter while preparing for a small recreational fire outside of his trailer.  The lighter dropped with an active flame in wood and debris in an area near the trailer, which caused the fire and the loss of the home.

Northwest Fire's Community Assistance Team and the Southern Arizona Red Cross assisted the homeowner with housing and additional need. Damages are estimated to reach $5,000.

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