Home destroyed by fire, family warns about potentially dangerous - Tucson News Now

Home destroyed by fire, family warns about potentially dangerous oil

Investigators have not released a cause of the fire, but they believe rags with linseed oil were a factor. Investigators have not released a cause of the fire, but they believe rags with linseed oil were a factor.
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Flames ripped through the Heuser’s home on Saturday evening, and now the family is speaking out to warn others about the dangers of how it may have started.

The fire broke out just before 4:30 p.m. on Saturday on 28th Street near Wilmot in Tucson.

Nate Heuser had a can of linseed oil and rags inside the shed. Linseed is used as finish on wood furniture. With the scorching heat, firefighters say the chemicals may have combusted causing an explosion that then caught the house on fire. All of this happened as the Heuser’s 16-year-old son was sleeping inside.

“That was his room right here. That’s where he was taking a nap and he barely got out of his room,” Nate Heuser said.

Black smoke and flames billowed out of the Heuser’s house.

“I came over here just running, like where’s my son? Where’s my son?” Chaundell Heuser said.

Nate and Chaundell had just left to go take their kids swimming, but their teenage son, Julius, stayed home. Luckily the explosion woke him, and he grabbed the dogs and ran outside.

Now less than 24 hours later the family is sorting through the charred debris.

“I had pictures all across this wall,” Chaundell Heuser said.

They are trying to salvage as much as they can.

“This got a little water damage on it,” Chaundell Heuser said.

Not only were their belongings burned, but the main way Heuser provides for the family was also affected. All of his tools and supplies for his business went up in flames.

“You can see my cutting torch, I mean every tool for everything I did was in there” Heuser said. 

Tucson Fire investigators said at this point the exact cause of the fire is undetermined, but they believe the linseed oil rags played a significant role in the blaze. Heuser wants others to be cautious about these chemicals.

“That heat building up - if a lid cracks you never know,” Heuser said. 

Through all of this devastation, the Heusers are choosing to reflect on what they say is most important.

“I’m just thankful no body lost their life,”  Chaundell Heuser said.

The Red Cross has stepped in to help the family stay in a hotel for now as their home is a total loss.

Friends of the family have set up a donation page.

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