Attempt to thaw frozen water pipe leads to Hutchinson house fire

Published: Mar. 4, 2019 at 11:41 PM CST
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The Hutchinson Fire Department says a frozen water pipe and an attempt to thaw the pipe led to a Monday afternoon house fire that significantly damaged a bathroom and an attic.

The fire department says a little before 5 p.m. Monday, firefighters responded to a structure fire at a home in the 1500 block of East 4th Street.

"Initial arriving crews found heavy smoke showing from the attic of a single-story residential home," the Hutchinson Fire Department says. "Crews made an aggressive interior attack and controlled the fire within minutes of arrival. The fire was located in a bathroom and had traveled to the attic."

The fire department says people inside the home when the fire started made it out safely.

"Maintenance personnel advised they were thawing frozen pipes in the bathroom with a heat gun when items in their work area ignited," the Hutchinson Fire Department says.

Crews blocked off parts of East 4th Street for about two hours as firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze. The Hutchinson Police Department, Reno County EMS, Westar Energy and Kansas Gas Service assisted the Hutchinson Fire Department at the scene.

"Hutchinson Fire would like to remind residents to never use an open flame or high heat source (blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove) to thaw frozen pipes," the fire department says. "If using an electric hair dryer or portable space heater to thaw pipes, keep away from flammable materials and never leave space heaters unattended. If you are unable to thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber."