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House fire caused by homeowner’s attempt to thaw frozen water pipes


Grier Street fire aftermath [1]

A house on Grier Street in Belleville has been partially demolished after a fire on Saturday morning. Photo by Suzanne Coolen

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 [9] has been set up for the families, seeking donations of clothes and household items. A GoFundMe site [10]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:

For more fire-prevention tips, visit the factsheet section of Fire Prevention Canada’s website, fiprecan.ca [11].