Independence man starts fire while using blow torch on frozen pipes

Home sustained extensive damage; no one hurt

Published: January 3 2014 | 9:50 am - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 1:35 am in
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Independence fire officials said a homeowner using a propane torch to thaw water pipes did considerable fire damage to a home on the city's south side.

The fire began about 10:30 p.m. Thursday at a home at 500 Third Ave. SE. That’s Highway 150, a main route through Independence.

Independence Fire Chief Doug Cook said the owner was using a torch in a part of the one-time duplex that was undergoing some remodeling. Cook said the owner left that portion of the home to check and see if the water was flowing again. When he returned, he saw signs of a fire inside the walls and that’s when he called the fire department.

The chief said although the home was a duplex at one time, it is now a large home for a single family. Damage in the portion undergoing remodeling was very extensive. The chief estimated damage at $10,000 to $15,000 in the other portion of the home, where the family was currently living. The chief said using an open flame to thaw a water pipe is very risky and not recommended.

No one was hurt in the fire.

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