Man sets fire to home while thawing pipe

Jan. 22, 2008 at 9:47 PM

LIMA, Ohio, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Firefighters in Shawnee Township, Ohio, said a man accidentally lit his house on fire while attempting to thaw a frozen waterline with a propane torch.

Shawnee Township Fire Chief Tim Mosher said authorities arrived Monday morning at the home of John Miller Sr. to find the house full of smoke, The Lima (Ohio) News reported Tuesday.

"He was trying to thaw out a frozen waterline in a crawl space," Mosher said. "The occupant got out but there was a lot of smoke in there when we arrived."

Miller said firefighters went into the home and rescued his Boston terrier, Milo, who he said was shaken up but otherwise in good health after the incident.

The homeowner said it wasn't the first time he had used a propane torch to thaw a frozen pipe, but this was his first fire.

"I didn't have it on there two minutes that the side wall took off," Miller said. "I've done it a hundred times and never had a problem."

Mosher said damage to the home would cost at least a couple thousand dollars to repair.

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