Mt. Vernon Register-News

Top News

January 6, 2014

Landlord using blow torch to thaw water pipes starts house fire

DERRY, N.H. — Jack Webb, battalion chief of the fire department in this New Hampshire community near the Massachusetts border, said he and his fellow firefighters watching a television program Saturday morning that warned viewers about the danger of using blow torches to thaw frozen water pipes.

“We were actually joking about it before the call came in,” Webb said. “It's just something you don't do. Don't ever do it.”

But when firefighters responded to the call about a fire at a multi-family home, they quickly learned that the blaze was caused by someone doing exactly that.

Investigators said Clement Laplante had picked the dangerously wrong way to get the water running in the two-family, century-old home — and it's going to cost him, according to Webb, who estimated damage to the building at about $20,000.

Fire crews were able to quickly extinguish the fire after knocking down several exterior and interior walls to keep it from spreading. A team from the American Red Cross helped relocate the five adults who were displaced. With the piping and electrical system damaged, Webb said, the building is uninhabitable until repairs are made.

Emergency crews treated a woman with a history of respiratory problems and transported her to a local hospital.

“We also found numerous electrical and fire code violations as well,” Webb said.

“The most serious fire code violations we found were no operating smoke and no operating carbon monoxide detectors in either of the two rental units,” he said.

Details for this story were reported by The Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, Mass.

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Affirmative action ruling challenges colleges seeking diversity

    The U.S. Supreme Court's support of Michigan's ban on race-based affirmative action in university admissions may spur colleges to find new ways to achieve diversity without using racial preferences.

    April 23, 2014

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • Can Hillary Clinton rock the cradle and the world?

    What's most interesting to contemplate is the effect becoming a grandmother will have on Hillary's ambition. It's one of life's unfairnesses that a woman's peak career years often coincide with her peak childbearing years.

    April 21, 2014

  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 18, 2014

  • VIDEO: Boston bomb scare defendant appears in court

    The man accused of carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the anniversary of the bombings was arraigned Wednesday. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

    April 17, 2014

  • Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs

    The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.

    April 16, 2014

  • bomb1 VIDEO: A year after marathon bombing, Boston remains strong

    The City of Boston came together Tuesday to honor those who were injured and lost their lives at the Boston Marathon on the one-year anniversary of the bombing. While the day was sure to be emotional, those affected by last year's race are showing they won't let the tragedy keep them down.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Search teams will send unmanned sub to look for missing Malaysian airliner

    Teams searching for a missing Malaysian airliner are planning for the first time to send an unmanned submarine into the depths of the Indian Ocean to look for wreckage, an Australian official leading the multi-nation search said Monday.

    April 14, 2014

  • 25801486.jpg VIDEO: Northern California bus crash kills 10

    At least nine people died in Northern California on Thursday night, in an accident involving a bus, a car and FedEx truck. The bus was filled with high school students from Southern California who were on their way to visit a college campus.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • VIDEO: CBS taps Colbert as Letterman’s Late Show successor

    Bloomberg’s Jon Erlichman reports that CBS has announced Stephen Colbert as its choice to replace the retiring David Letterman as host of “The Late Show” on Bloomberg Television’s “Lunch Money.”

     

    April 10, 2014