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Fire investigators say pile of rags soaked with linseed oil caused Cedar Rapids house fire

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Fire investigators say a pile of rags soaked with linseed oil spontaneously combusted, causing the fire that heavily damaged a two-story Cedar Rapids home.

The rags had been used to apply the oil to kitchen cabinets earlier in the day Friday. Linseed oil is a common household product used as a wood polish and sealant. The oil can produce enough heat in rags to ignite.

The family of three was not home at the time of the fire, and no injuries were reported. But the house suffered heavy fires damage on the first floor and heavy smoke damage throughout.

The fire was deemed unintentional.

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