Oil-soaked towels start fire at Tucson retirement home

TUCSON, AZ - Authorities say oil-soaked towels started a fire at a Tucson-area retirement home, forcing the evacuation of six units as smoke filled a three-story building's first floor.

Northwest Fire District firefighters put out the fire Friday morning after being alerted by a water-flow alarm at the Amber Lights independent living facility.

The building's fire sprinklers put out most of the fire, and firefighters extinguished the rest and then used fans to ventilate the building.

A fire inspector determined that the fire started accidentally after a large pile of towels ignited due to a chemical reaction. The towels had been used to clean and recoat doors with linseed oil.

The sprinkler system left 3 inches of water in some areas of the building. Damage was estimated at $5,000.

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