The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 5, 2014

Blow torch on frozen pipes ignites Middleburg house

MIDDLEBURG — A borough resident thawing frozen plumbing pipes with a blow torch in a crawl space under his kitchen Saturday night ignited a blaze that ruined the home in which he and his family were living.

Middleburg fire Chief Dwayne “Butch” Hackenburg would not say Saturday night whether the home at 225 W. Market St. was a total loss, but said the residence had extensive damage.

More than 50 emergency personnel from nine Valley companies responded to the fire that gutted Donald Zechman’s home.

Sub-freezing temperatures impeded the process as gusts of wind fanned flames that leapt through windows and a portion of the roof.

Emergency crews from Middleburg, Penns Creek, Beaver Springs, Mifflinburg, Kreamer, Mount Pleasant Mills, Beavertown, Shamokin Dam and the Kratzerville Rehab Unit were among those who responded to the blaze.

One firefighter was taken to a hospital for a shoulder injury, Hackenburg said.

The home was insured, Hackenburg said.

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