The Monroe City Fire Department (M.C.F.D.) have been busy this past week responding to accidents and fire calls. Monroe City Fire Chief Rich Enochs encourages caution when thawing pipes, stating, “There are several ways you help thaw pipes safely. One way is to open the cabinet door to make sure heat is getting under the cabinet, especially on an outer wall. You can also use a hair dryer to thaw pipes out. If you use a salamander or a torch it gets so hot that it could ignite the isolation or wood on fire.” He also added a few safety tips, stating, “Please make sure that you never leave the house alone and stay there when the pipes are thawing out so that you can call 911.” “Making sure your smoke detector batteries are good is important because let’s say you thawed your pipes and you get a fire in the wall that is smoldering and finally gets that air that it needs to really start to burn. You want to make sure that your smoke detectors will work and alert you to a fire and also make sure your carbon dioxide detectors are in good working order because right now the furnaces are working overtime in this cold weather,” explained Chief Enochs.
The M.C.F.D. were called to the 200 block of Lawn St. on February 14 for a structure fire. Volunteer firefighters fought the fire in the frigid temperatures into the night. The Monroe City Police Department blocked traffic and Monroe City Ambulance District sat on standby throughout the evening. The house was deemed a total loss. There were no reported injuries in the fire except for the family’s dog, who is recovering in the care of a veterinarian.
Chief Enochs stated, “The fire on lawn street was accidental. They were thawing the pipes out and caught the underneath on fire, which went through the rest of the structure. The fire was under control within a couple hours, but we remained on the scene until 11:30 p.m.”
On February 15, the M.C.F.D was called to another structure fire related to thawing pipes in the 300 block of North Vine Street. The M.C.F.D. were able to assist in containing the fire within a few hours. Afterwards the M.C.F.D. returned to Lawn Street to contain the fire from the previous evening, which had reignited.