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Frozen pipes lead to house fire in Audubon

AUDUBON -- A house fire in Audubon was reported at 12:35 p.m. Wednesday.

The fire on East Hawk Street was confined to the exterior of the doublewide mobile home, and was caused by residents thawing out frozen pipes underneath, according to Audubon Fire Chief Darcy Savig.

"They were heating up water pipes with a kerosene heater," he said. "Anything with an open flame is not a good idea with water pipes..."

The fire damaged insulation, wiring and the home's exterior at the point of the fire, which was in a crawl space, he said.

The homeowners were there at the time and caught the fire early, and neighbors also helped put it out, Savig said. The home is habitable, just damaged on the outside.

He recommends those in mobile homes dealing with frozen pipes use insulation and heat tape to thaw out pipes and keep them from freezing in the first place.

It's also helpful to bank up snow or other material around the house to keep cold air from blowing through the underside of the mobile home where water pipes are located, he said.