Home, RV burn after blowtorch used to thaw frozen pipes

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HALLSVILLE -A mobile home and a recreational vehicle were completely burned after the homeowner used a blowtorch to thaw his water pipes.

The home and RV were fully engulfed in flames when Boone County firefighters arrived Sunday afternoon to the property on Owens School Road, according to the firefighters.

Doug Westoff, assistant fire chief in Boone County Fire Protection District, said the property owner was trying to thaw his pipes with a heating device on the RV, which caught some straw on fire. Wind caused the flames to spread to the mobile home.

"As in many cases in parts around Boone County, property owners utilize bales of straw and hay as insulation around the areas where the wind blows underneath homes," Westoff said.

The homeowner was transported to University Hospital with minor burn injuries on his leg.

Westoff said firefighters had difficulty extinguishing the fire because of the slick roads and limited access to the home.

"The normal structural firefighting apparatus is too heavy to cross that bridge, and it was restricted to stay out on the roads," he said. 

The Fire District is working to ensure personal property in close proximity to the fire is safe.

Westoff said the homeowner has family in the immediate area to help him.