December 23, 2008
Fire officials in New Bedford, Mass., say a man using a blowtorch to melt ice on his back porch ended up setting his house on fire, causing up to $30,000 in damage.
Fire Capt. Scott Kruger tells The Standard-Times of New Bedford that no on was injured during Monday's incident at the three-story home.
Kruger says the man was using a torch hooked up to a 20-pound propane cylinder. He got too close to the building's wood frame and ignited the vinyl siding. The fire quickly spread into the building's second- and third-floor apartments.
Officials say the homeowner was trying to thaw out the pipe with a kerosene torch.
Irwin Fire Department Chief Keith Gray says the fire started in the basement and spread to the first floor.
"We caught it on the first floor before it got to the second floor," he said.
Gray says homeowners should not try to fix frozen pipes on their own.
"Best thing to do, if you have frozen pipes, call a certified plumber, get them to take care of it – don't try to handle it yourself," he said.
No one was hurt but firefighters say it could have been worse.
Today's lesson brought to you by the letter FAIL.
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