Officials say Iowa fire started with propane torch

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) — Fire officials say an eastern Iowa house fire was started by a tenant who used a propane torch to thaw frozen water pipes.

KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids reports (http://bit.ly/1kjapDC ) that the fire began just before 10:30 p.m. Thursday in Independence. Independence Fire Chief Doug Cook says Tristin Beltz was using a torch in a part of a former duplex that was being renovated. Cook says Beltz turned off the torch and went to see if water was flowing in another part of the house. Cook says that when Beltz returned, he saw signs that a fire had started inside the walls.

Beltz escaped the home safely with his wife, three children, and pets. The home is owned by Beltz’s mother-in-law.

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Information from: KCRG-TV, http://www.kcrg.com

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