Man using propane torch to thaw gutters sparks attic fire

Published: Monday, Jan. 7 2013 10:05 p.m. MST

MURRAY — A home here caught fire Monday night when the owner tried to thaw his rain gutters with a propane torch.

Murray Fire Department spokesman Russ Groves said the torch set the home's eaves ablaze, causing a fire in the attic at 5450 S. Riley Lane (200 West) just after 7 p.m.

Fire crews cut a hole in the roof to quickly access and extinguish the flames, but the home sustained between $20,000 and $25,000 damage, Groves said.

The homeowner, who is the only occupant at the residence, was forced to find other accommodations Monday night, Groves said. However, smoke and water damage was minimal, and with repairs, the house will still be livable. 

Groves said this is the first case he's seen of someone utilizing a propane torch to thaw ice. The effort was likely futile, he said, because the gutters are bound to freeze again before winter is over.

McKenzie Romero

Twitter: @McKenzieRomero

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