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Brighton Township Homeowner Starts Fire Trying to Thaw Frozen Pipes

Two residents were displaced from their home after a fire started Tuesday afternoon.

Two Brighton Township residents have been displaced after a fire at the Woodland Lake Trailer Park Tuesday afternoon.

The fire started after the homeowner attempted to thaw pipes underneath the mobile home using a torpedo heater, which uses open flame with intense heat, and ignited combustible insulation.

The Brighton Area Fire Department responded to a fire on Brad Place at 12:47 p.m. When firefighters arrived on the scene, the fire was spreading from the home and into the adjacent garage, according to Brighton Fire Chief Mike O'Brian.

O'Brian said there were no hydrants in the area and the fire took about 35 minutes to get under control. 

Green Oak and Howell Fire Departments provided mutual aid assistance and no injuries were reported.

O'Brian said that during severely cold weather, pipes in homes on lake foundations or small foundations, sometimes freeze.

The number one way to avoid this type of situation is to be preventative by properly insulating pipes, O'Brian said.

If pipes do freeze, then they should follow manufacturer warnings and directions, ensuring the heaters or open flames are the appropriate distance away in larger spaces, and using plug-in heaters in smaller spaces.

"But they have to stay and monitor them," O'Brian said. "We get a lot of space heater fires this time of year. There's different ways, and the best way is to try and make sure your pipes don't freeze in the first place. I don't think anybody intentionally let's their pipes freeze, but before those cold snaps, they can evaluate if everything is properly insulated and those types of things."

The home was a total loss, displacing the two residents, who are now being assisted by The American Red Cross Livingston County Chapter.

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