Frozen pipes are often a valid concern each year as winter temperatures plunge across the Hudson Valley, However, some residents' makeshift defrosting methods caused a fire at a mobile home unit in Ulster County, according to officials. The fire happened around 9:15 Wednesday morning. Ruby Fire Chief Steven Dachenhausen said the blaze was caused when a propane gas unit was used to blow hot air in an effort to melt pipes that had been frozen.

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Dachenhausen said the fire happened on Sawkill Road in the Hamlet of Ruby, New York, which is a small community a little over 6 miles north of Kingston. The blaze caused damage to insulation and wood siding, though it luckily didn't spread inside the trailer. Dachenhausen said firefighters had to take down a wall to fully contain the blaze. No injuries were reported. The residents will be allowed to return to their home once the wall is completely fixed.

While the removal of snow and ice can be quite burdensome, using propane tanks or other devices that shoot flames can be highly dangerous if you don't have any experience using them. A resident in Seymour, Connecticut set their own home on fire trying to thaw snow and ice from the recent Nor'easter with a flamethrower Saturday afternoon. Firefighters were soon on the scene and were able to extinguish the blaze.

A simple, yet direct, bit of advice from the fire department's Facebook post:

We do not recommend the use of flame-throwers or any similar devices as an attempt to melt ice.


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