No, really: Thaw frozen pipes with hair dryers, not open flame, says IFD after they put out a house fire

February 21, 2015 by Rachel Cera

The Ithaca Fire Department, which has been stressing the importance of using warm air from space heaters and hair dryers to thaw frozen pipes, instead of open flame, repeated the advice on Friday night after putting out a fire on South Cayuga Street.

According to an IFD release, a call came in at about 7:20pm Friday for a report of "a fire in the wall and smoke filling up inside the structure," in a three-story apartment building at 332 South Cayuga Street.

"Although smoke filled the entire house, the fire was kept to the first-floor wall," says Lt. Thomas T. Basher Jr., public information officer for the Ithaca Fire Department.

An initial investigation suggests the fire was caused by "using a blow torch to thaw pipes in the wall." IFD suggests keeping the heat at 62 degrees or warmer, opening cabinets or closests containing water pipes, and using a space heater, hair dryer, or other source of warm air to thaw the pipes.

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