Attempts to Thaw Frozen Water Pipes Sparks Fire

January 7, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Chief Donny Green

A Smithville property owner learned the hard way Monday night how that trying to thaw a frozen water pipe with a heat source can cause a fire.

County Fire Chief Donny Green told WJLE that firefighters were called to a vacant home on Robinson Road where the owner, Jerry Scott had inadvertently caught a floor joist on fire while trying to thaw a pipe. No one was living there at the time. The home was being used for storage. " He had gone there Monday afternoon and discovered his water pipe had frozen," said Chief Green. "He was trying to thaw the pipe using a heat source when he inadvertently caught a floor joist on fire. It spread inside the house to an interior wall behind the kitchen sink. Firefighters were able to reach the fire and kept it contained to the kitchen wall around the sink," Chief Green continued.

The fire damage was minor and confined to a 4' x 4' area although some smoke spread through the house. Members of the Main Station of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded.

Chief Green admonishes all homeowners to exercise extreme caution when thawing water pipes and if you have questions as to what should be done, contact a professional plumber for advice.

Meanwhile on Friday night, county volunteer firefighters were called to 1841 Vandergriff Hollow Road off Dry Creek Road where a truck parked inside a barn had caught fire. The barn contained a living quarters in the upper portion of the building. "We got on the scene and found the truck fully involved. The flames were endangering the barn," said Chief Green. "We got the fire out and pulled the vehicle away from the barn. The truck was destroyed but the barn only had minor charring to the interior. There was some damage to the living quarters but no one was hurt," he said.

Members of the Liberty and Main Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Departments responded along with the tanker truck and DeKalb EMS.

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