(SPRINGVILLE) - Thawing frozen water pipes sparked a house fire Tuesday afternoon.
According to Marshall Volunteer Fire Department Chief Chad Hayes, Gregg Brown, who lives at 2439 Sieboldt Quarry Road, was in his attic attempting to thaw out water pipes with a an electric heat gun.
"It works like an oversized hair dryer on steroids," Hayes says.
All of a sudden the electric breaker tripped.
"He went downstairs to flip the breaker back on and thought he had turned the heat gun off," Hayes says. "He then got busy in the downstairs living quarters and after about ten minutes he started to smell smoke."
Brown then went back up in the attic and tried to extinguish the blaze.
"He said the smoke was so thick he was afraid he would be overcome by it so he came back downstairs and dialed 911 and got out of the house," Hayes says. "And that is what he should have done."
When firefighters from Marshall and Oolitic VFDs arrived there was white smoke coming out of the roof vents.
"We were able to pull down a small section of the ceiling from the utility room to get to the seat of the fire," Hayes says. "We then removed all the burning material and insulation."
Hayes estimates there was around $10,000 in damage to the single-story home.
"Between the fire damage and the damage we did to the drywall and insulation to get to the fire, along with electrical and plumbing and and clean up costs, it all figures in and adds up quick." Hayes says.
The weather didn't hinder firefighters too much.
"Oolitic VFD arrived with 2 trucks and three firefighters and we had three trucks and three firefighters," Hayes says. "We all had to drive a little slower, but it wasn't too bad."
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