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Posted on: January 24, 2020

Spontaneous Combustion Starts Fire in Edina Home on Wycliffe Road

Edina, Minn., Jan. 22, 2020 – The Edina Fire Department was called to the 5600 block of Wycliffe Road at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, after a construction worker on scene reported smoke in the home.

Firefighters arrived to a small working fire in a basement storage room and were able to quickly extinguish it. The fire was contained to the storage room. There were no injuries.

The fire is suspected to have started from rags saturated with linseed oil that were left in a bag.

“Not only can rags with linseed oil spontaneously combust and start fires when exposed to oxygen, but so can other rags if they have the right mix of chemicals,” said Fire Inspector Brian Hanrahan. “Oily rags or rags used for staining, especially ones containing linseed oil, should be stored in a metal bucket with the lid on tight until the project is complete.”  

Once the rag is finished being used, it should be properly disposed of – not stored for another project.

To properly dispose of oil-soaked rags, submerge the rag in water in a metal container – such as an empty paint can – and seal the lid tightly. Containers can be taken to the South Hennepin Recycling and Problem Waste Drop-Off Center, 1400 W. 96th St., Bloomington; or Hennepin County Recycling Center, 8100 Jefferson Highway, Brooklyn Park.

The Edina Fire Department was assisted by the Edina Police Department and received mutual aid from the Richfield Fire Department.

For more information about the Edina Fire Department, visit or call 952-826-0330.

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