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Heat gun used to thaw pipes sparks CRR house fire

Official: Never leave them unattended

CROOKED RIVER RANCH, Ore. - A Crooked River Ranch resident using a heat gun to thaw his frozen water line went inside to check the faucet -- and came out to find a fire beneath the mobile home Friday afternoon, officials said.

The elderly occupant escaped unharmed, but the fire did about $20,000 damage to the structure and contents, said CRR Assistant Fire Chief Sean Hartley.

Crews were called to the fire in the 6600 block of Southwest Mustang Road and arrived to find smoke showing, Hartley said. An investigation found the fire beneath the home had burned into the walls and roof.

"The homeowner was using the heat gun to attempt to thaw the main water pipe into the home," Hartley said. "He went to check the faucet inside, to see if water was flowing, and left the heat gun under the house. When he came back outside, he found the fire."

It took firefighters nearly two hours to bring the fire under control and check the remainder for any extension, the official said.

The resident made arrangements to stay with a friend and did not need Red Cross assistance, Hartley said.

Fire Chief Harry Ward had a safety reminder to offer:  "Never leave heating devices unattended, even for a short time, while attempting to thaw water pipes. If you are not sure what to do when a water pipe freezes, contact a plumbing service for assistance."

Crooked River Ranch Fire & Rescue was assisted at the scene by Redmond Fire and Rescue, the Cloverdale Fire District, Jefferson County Fire District No. 1 and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.


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