MARION TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A man trying to thaw the pipes with a blow dryer and heater in his Beaver County home sparked a large fire Friday.
The single-story home, built on stilts because of its proximity to a nearby creek and the creek’s tendency to flood, was destroyed in the multiple-alarm fire.
The blaze broke out around 4 p.m. along Eckert Stop Lane in Marion Township.
Firefighters from companies in both Beaver and Butler counties battled the flames in frigid, single-degree temperatures.
“The house was so far gone, there was nothing we could do to save it when we got to the scene,” Assistant Fire Chief John Murtha told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti.
Homeowner Leonard Szulczewski, at times in tears, says he lost everything in the fire, including his treasured baseball memorabilia collection.
The fire started after Szulczewski used a hair dryer and a propane or kerosene heater to thaw out frozen pipes under the house.
He said he apparently fell asleep on a couch and was awakened by popping sounds.
Szulczewski managed to get out safely.