Linseed oil causes house fire

Somehow this does not make sense.....
1. Who ever heard of using linseed oil to clean a couch cushion? 2. Why would it combust from sitting outside in the cold winter?
The article is here: http://www.news8000.com/news/Cushion-combusts-causes-Medary-house-fire/-/326/8608380/-/9wwxa6/-/index.html
Cushion combusts, causes Medary house fire Published On: Feb 07 2012 01:46:04 PM CST Updated On: Feb 07 2012 07:19:02 PM CST
TOWN OF MEDARY, Wis. -- A couch cushion cleaned with linseed oil appears to have caused a house fire in the Town of Medary.
The Vance family made it out of their home on Smith Valley Road safely early Sunday morning, thanks to the help of cab driver Colin Winchell, who saw the fire as he was driving by and woke the family up.
Onalaska Fire Chief Don Dominick tells News 8 the family had cleaned the couch cushion used by the family pets with linseed oil, which has a tendency to combust due to its chemical makeup.
The cushion was placed outside the home to air out, and later ignited, causing the fire that damaged the home.
The family, who is staying at a hotel, lost two dogs and two cats in the fire. Firefighters rescued one cat from the home.
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That sounds odd. I've heard the old, and totally valid cautions about shop rags and linseed oil. But, using it to clean a sofa cushion? Makes no sense at all. And, it's not like the sofa cushion is crumpled, and left in the corner.
Careless smoking, maybe?
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Somehow this does not make sense.....
1. Who ever heard of using linseed oil to clean a couch cushion? 2. Why would it combust from sitting outside in the cold winter?
The article is here: http://www.news8000.com/news/Cushion-combusts-causes-Medary-house-fire/-/326/8608380/-/9wwxa6/-/index.html
Cushion combusts, causes Medary house fire Published On: Feb 07 2012 01:46:04 PM CST Updated On: Feb 07 2012 07:19:02 PM CST
TOWN OF MEDARY, Wis. -- A couch cushion cleaned with linseed oil appears to have caused a house fire in the Town of Medary.
The Vance family made it out of their home on Smith Valley Road safely early Sunday morning, thanks to the help of cab driver Colin Winchell, who saw the fire as he was driving by and woke the family up.
Onalaska Fire Chief Don Dominick tells News 8 the family had cleaned the couch cushion used by the family pets with linseed oil, which has a tendency to combust due to its chemical makeup.
The cushion was placed outside the home to air out, and later ignited, causing the fire that damaged the home.
The family, who is staying at a hotel, lost two dogs and two cats in the fire. Firefighters rescued one cat from the home.
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On Feb 9, 4:44 am, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

Never heard of Linseed Oil being used as a cleaner, but I have only used BLO. However, considering it has a mild, almost food-like odor, BLO is very volatile.
Years ago I was using it on a project and my habit is to put rags soaked with oil, wiping finish, etc in a sandwich bag with air pressed out and sealed in between coats. The bag goes into a metal coffee can out at the corner of the patio slab. I reached into the can one winter evening and the bag was notably warm. That made me a believer.
RonB
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BHO is incendiary. It absorbs oxygen from the air, and tends to light on fire when no one is looking. It is responsible for all kinds of problems in the world. BHO is a bit more stable when stored in a metal jug, with no oxygen present. BHO might smell like food, and might smell like smoke. For sure, BHO cannot be trusted, and needs to be treated with great care. Pressing BHO into a sandwich bag, with the air pushed out, sounds like a wise idea. The metal can is a good idea, and stored safely away from anything that could be damaged if BHO became incendiary, as so often happens.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Never heard of Linseed Oil being used as a cleaner, but I have only used BLO. However, considering it has a mild, almost food-like odor, BLO is very volatile.
Years ago I was using it on a project and my habit is to put rags soaked with oil, wiping finish, etc in a sandwich bag with air pressed out and sealed in between coats. The bag goes into a metal coffee can out at the corner of the patio slab. I reached into the can one winter evening and the bag was notably warm. That made me a believer.
RonB
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On Thu, 9 Feb 2012 09:37:56 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

Is it BHO or BLO ??? We're not matching between messages here....
What is this stuff?
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Some truth in it, either way.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

Is it BHO or BLO ??? We're not matching between messages here....
What is this stuff?
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On Feb 9, 9:37 am, "Stormin Mormon"

re: "...and tends to light on fire when no one is looking. "
As the man once asked about the thermos: "How do it know?"
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I'm remembering the story of the blonde woman who bought a thermos. Are you going in that same general direction, too?
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
wrote:

re: "...and tends to light on fire when no one is looking. "
As the man once asked about the thermos: "How do it know?"
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When I was much younger I tried a few times to get linseed oil soaked rags to spontaneously combust but no luck.
Here's a link to some work a guy did experimenting with spontaneous combustion. After a few tries he got it work, interesting data & photos.
http://www.wildwoodsurvival.com/survival/fire/spontaneouscombustion/rbjul05/index.html
cheers Bob
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Ouch, that's serious hazzard. I hope we all are very careful with linseed oil rags.
--

Christopher A. Young
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On another list, it was suggested to me that the web site guy had the stove burner flame on, since the can was on the stove. And, that's why the linseed caught fire. How true is this? I have no way to know.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Here's a link to some work a guy did experimenting with spontaneous combustion. After a few tries he got it work, interesting data & photos.
http://www.wildwoodsurvival.com/survival/fire/spontaneouscombustion/rbjul05/index.html
cheers Bob
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On Feb 10, 6:39 am, "Stormin Mormon"

The really sad thing is...... the person who suggested that the experiment was faked probably votes. :( It's amazing how people who do not or cannot understand a process believe it must be faked or magic.
Do some reading on the chemistry of readily oxidized oils & spontaneous combustion. Spontaneous combustion risk of linseed oil has been know for many years.
pistachio nuts as well http://www.tis-gdv.de/tis_e/ware/nuesse/pistazie/pistazie.htm#selbsterhitzung
A compost pile of eucalyptus leaves, bark & wood caught fire on a freeway median in Orange County, CA. I saw it on the way to work.
The link I posted gave the best explanation & demonstration combo I was able to find.
cheers Bob
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news:882a4a7c-8ff4-4819-9624-
<<A compost pile of eucalyptus leaves, bark & wood caught fire on a freeway median in Orange County, CA. I saw it on the way to work.>>
Got a friend who's a "firey" (firefighter, not pyromaniac!) in Oz that told me that eucalyptus trees contain lots of oil that makes them very hard to extinguish once they do catch on fire and that piles dead leaves and branches of such trees can ignite very easily. The hazards of linseed oil are well-known but it still starts fires because people can't easily get their heads around the idea that a pile of old rags can set themselves on fire.
-- Bobby G.
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After sealing and removing excess O2, I always heard "...then store in the freezer." This included paint brushes so you wouldn't have to clean them between use over a period of days, better than sticking completely into the paint can overnight+.
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That makes sense. Freezer not likely to get hot enough to catch fire.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
After sealing and removing excess O2, I always heard "...then store in the freezer." This included paint brushes so you wouldn't have to clean them between use over a period of days, better than sticking completely into the paint can overnight+.
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On 2/9/2012 5:44 AM, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

http://www.news8000.com/news/Cushion-combusts-causes-Medary-house-fire/-/326/8608380/-/9wwxa6/-/index.html
Mushroom houses around here use a lot of compost. Don't know what the current situation is but a guy that lived near a big composter said town was having a real problem extinguishing fires caused by spontaneous combustion of the compost piles.
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On Thu, 09 Feb 2012 09:01:22 -0500, Frank

This I can believe. As a farmer, I know how hot a pile of manure can get. Even in the dead of winter a fresh pile will melt off all the snow. I've also had manure piles start burning in the summer, because I was burning off weeds and dried grass in spring. If the fire gets to the manure pile, it will smoulder for months. It dont really flame, it just smoulders and stinks bad. Fortunately, I've always caught the manure fires soon, and soaked the burning parts with a hose and made them out.
However, I know a farm that had the barn, and several other buildings destroyed by a tornado. The owner pushed the remainder of the barn and other buildings into a deep hole on the farm, the same hole he had been dumping cattle manure for years. He set the pile of barn wood, with several hundred bales of hay and straw that was in the barn, and soaked. He invited all his friends to watch (myself included). That was one of the biggest fires I ever saw. It burned for several days as that soaked hay and straw would dry, then burn, and other junk like old tires that were in those buildings would ignite. About 4 or 5 days later the flames were nearly gone, but it smouldered and stunk. He burned this in early June. In October around Halloween it was still smouldering and stinky. Finally several heavy rains seemed to put it out, but a week later there would be small puffs of smoke again. The winter snow finally put out the fire completely.
I have photos of the initial fire, but they are on film, so I cant post them online. This was before digital cameras existed.
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On Thu, 09 Feb 2012 04:44:02 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

Not me. It would make an almost irreparable mess. Maybe they meant turpentine.

If there was no wind, or it was shielded from the wind, mayyyyybe it's possible to get that much heat, even when it's cold out. Is this a chemistry question? sci.chem?
It was quite cold in Wisconsin early Sunday morning Feb 5, wasn't it? 20 degrees?
And it's true, the stuffing keeps a cushion from being crumpled up, so the heat is concentrated. Instead, it's spread out over 18" x 18" or so.
Frank, do these compost piles catch fire when i't 20 or 30 degrees out?

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On Feb 9, 5:44 am, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

I know rags damp with it can spontaneously combust but dont have a clue to why someone would use it to clean a couch with. Maybe they were using it on some wood trim on the couch. Getting the couch outside of the house would be the right thing to do if they spilt it down in the padding.
Jimmie
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