CORNVILLE — A mobile home was destroyed by fire Tuesday afternoon on East Ridge Road, the result of attempting to thaw frozen water pipes.

Household items littered the front yard of the uninsured structure after firefighters from Cornville, Skowhegan, Madison and Athens responded to the alarm and doused the fire in relatively higher temperatures Tuesday afternoon. No injuries were reported.

The 773 East Ridge Road property is owned by Louis Wheeler, who lives in a separate building on the property. Wheeler’s son Cotey lived in the burned out structure with his 5-year-old daughter. They lost their belongings to the flames.

Lt. Nathaniel Weeks, of the Cornville Fire Department, was the first to respond when the call came through at 2:16 p.m.

“When I arrived on scene, there was heavy smoke, heavy fire coming out the side of the building,” Weeks said.

He noted that the fire originated near the bathroom of the mobile home before spreading.

“It started underneath the bathroom,” Weeks said. “The owner was trying to thaw some frozen pipes with a heating source. The flames burned up through the floor and into the house.”

Weeks added that he believes an electric heater had been used.

The mobile home was deemed a total loss. Weeks was unable to provide an estimated cost of the damage.

Wheeler was not present at the scene for a comment at 3:30 p.m.

To reduce the risk of fire, Weeks cautioned people against attempting to thaw pipes on their own.

“Don’t use space heaters or electric heaters,” he said. “Call someone. Have a plumber come deal with it.”

Meg Robbins — 861-9239

[email protected]


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