Apparent Snow Removal Plan Backfires

Snow-covered hydrants delay firefighters

By Matthew Stabley
|  Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010  |  Updated 9:26 PM EDT
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House Catches Fire After Torches Used to Melt Snow

NBCWashington.com

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House Catches Fire After Torches Used to Melt Snow

A house in Rockville, Md., sustained serious fire damage after workers reportedly tried removing snow from the roof with propane torches.
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A house in Montgomery County, Md., caught fire Tuesday afternoon after workers reportedly used fire to melt ice.

Six workers apparently used propane torches to melt ice on the roof of a house in the 6100 block of Neilwood Drive in Rockville. Firefighters were called to the house at about 1 p.m.

Firefighters arrived quickly but were hampered by snow that had buried two fire hydrants. The fire spread quickly and a second alarm was called. The roof collapsed, damaging many items in the house.

Capt. Oscar Garcia, of the Montgomery County Fire Department, reminded the public to shovel out fire hydrants in their neighborhoods.

The fire department is checking whether the workers were licensed to do the work they were performing, Garcia said.

A housekeeper and one of the workers suffered smoke inhalation. The family was not home at the time.

The official cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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