Maryland House Catches Fire When Propane Torch Used to Melt Ice,

February 19, 2010

Authorities say a Montgomery County, Maryland home caught fire after workers used a propane torch to clear ice from the roof.

County fire department spokesman Capt. Oscar Garcia says the blaze began Tuesday afternoon and firefighters found smoke and flames in the second floor and attic.

Garcia says one of the six workers was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. A housekeeper escaped from the home uninjured.

Crews had to dig out two nearby fire hydrants buried in the snow. Part of the roof also collapsed.

Garcia says officials are looking into whether the workers were licensed to do the work. He says damage is estimated at $1.5 million.

Authorities say they don’t recommend using an open flame to clean off ice or snow from a roof.

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