By Suzanne Coolen
BELLEVILLE – A house fire in the city Saturday morning was the result of frozen water pipes.
The homeowner was attempting to thaw out the pipes at the two-storey century home on Grier Street when the heat gun being used ignited combustible material, according to the Belleville Fire Department.
Due to the age and type of construction of the home the fire spread quickly to the attic, causing major damage, the department said. The front part of the house had to be demolished to prevent a possible collapse.
There were no injuries, but the fire left two families without a home. A Facebook page  has been set up for the families, seeking donations of clothes and household items. A GoFundMe site has also been set up for monetary donations.
The fire department is reminding residents to use extreme caution when attempting to thaw frozen pipes, and not to use a blowtorch or other open-flame device.
Winter is the worst season for fires in Canada. Fire Prevention Canada has created a winter safety list to help keep you safe:
- Do not leave candles unattended.
- Alcohol and fire are a dangerous mix. Keep a close eye on anyone cooking or smoking while under the influence of alcohol.
- Space heaters need space.
- Make sure you have working smoke detectors on all levels of your home.
For more fire-prevention tips, visit the factsheet section of Fire Prevention Canada’s website, fiprecan.ca .