Fire tears through house on a cold Friday morning

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BUCKHANNON — Firefighters believe a contractor was trying to thaw frozen water lines when a house caught fire on Marion Street Friday morning.

Lt. Brian Elmore with the Buckhannon Fire Department said the blaze was already spreading upstairs when firefighters arrived on scene at about 9:15 a.m.

“We had a fire showing on the left hand side of the structure and the fire was spreading from the first floor to the second floor and had heavy smoke throughout,” Elmore said.

Five different tenants lived in the house, according to the firefighter. Everyone inside made it out safely.

Elmore said the possible cause that started the blaze was a contractor thawing frozen water pipes with heaters. The fire then worked its way up into the house.

Elmore advised residents with frozen pipes to be extra careful and not leave a heat source aimed at the pipes alone.

“Someone should be there at all times to keep an eye on it, because it can spread quickly,” he said.

The best way to deal with pipes in cold weather, Elmore said, is to not let them freeze in the first place. Keep water lines dripping by turning on the faucets and buy heat tape to put on pipes to help prevent freezing.

Firefighters from five departments — Buckhannon, Washington District, Adrian, Ellamore and Weston — were on scene Friday approximately three hours.

“It was a nice, cold morning,” Elmore said.

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