Man Trying To Thaw Pipes Sparks Marion Twp Fire

01.06.14 | Bob Price

A man trying to thaw the pipes with a blow dryer and heater in his Beaver County home sparked a large fire last weekend. 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. Friday 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.