Tucson man uses blowtorch on weeds, burns house too

2014-03-27T12:36:00Z Tucson man uses blowtorch on weeds, burns house tooKimberly Matas Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 27, 2014 12:36 pm  • 

A man trying to burn away weeds with a blowtorch started his house on fire in the process.

At about 6:30 Wednesday evening, crews were called to a home in the 7700 block of South Delia Stone Court near South Wilmot Road and Interstate 10.

“Several calls were made reporting smoke from the house, including one from the resident stating that flames were going up the walls,” Capt. Barrett Baker, spokesman for the Tucson Fire Department, said in a news release.

When firefighters arrived they found two men trying to extinguish the blaze with a garden hose.

“The captain of the crew could see flames in the wall and the crew immediately began opening up the wall to gain better access to extinguish the fire,” Baker said. “The flames had made their way up the entire interior wall of the two-story house and were close to getting into the attic.”

The ladder crew cut a small “inspection hole” in the roof to verify that the flames had not spread into the attic space. Firefighters also used thermal imaging cameras to determine the fire hadn’t penetrated deeper into the walls and they pulled down part of the ceiling looking for hot spots, Baker said.

It took 14 minutes to bring the blaze under control. A total of eight units and 21 firefighters responded to the scene.

A 25-year old man, a 22 year-old woman and their 2-year-old son were displaced because of the fire.

Baker did not have a cost estimate of damage, but he did have some advice.

“ Never use a torch as a way to remove weeds from the yard. Not only is it illegal in the city, it is very dangerous,” he said.

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