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Pipe protector ignites attic fire

by: LAKE OSWEGO FIRE DEPARTMENT - Firefighters approach an attic fire through the ceiling from below at a North Shore Court home Thursday morning.Heated tape designed to protect pipes during freezing weather was to blame for an attic fire in Lake Oswego Thursday morning.

No one was injured in the blaze, which was reported by the homeowner to 911 just after 6:30 a.m., according to the Lake Oswego Fire Department. The home’s two occupants had evacuated and were waiting outside on North Shore Court when firefighters arrived.

Firefighters first noticed smoke coming from the home’s eaves and eventually pinpointed the fire underneath insulation, which had storage on top of it. Their search took about 20 minutes because attic storage created an obstacle, according to the LOFD.

The homeowner told firefighters he had plugged in heat tape for a drain pipe to his furnace. With no water in the plastic pipe and with insulation keeping heat in, the pipe ignited, causing estimated damages of about $15,000, according to the fire department.

Firefighters urged people to be cautious when using any kind of material to defrost pipes in cold weather.

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