LOCKPORT – Frigid temperatures contributed to a fire that destroyed an old, stone-framed house on North Transit Street.
The homeowner told officials the blaze started about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, after he tried to use a propane torch to thaw frozen water lines.
Fire spread quickly and destroyed the two-story house at 124 North Transit which was built in the 1800s in the Lowertown area of the city. Damages to the single-family home were estimated at $58,900.
City firefighter Timothy M. Loucks, 37, was treated at Eastern Niagara Hospital in Lockport for burns to his back, after an ember fell onto his jacket, Assistant Fire Chief Joseph Morello said.
Homeowner David A. Owens, 52, who lived alone in the house, said he tried to thaw his water lines with a propane torch, Morello said.
“He called for help when a fire started and it got out of control,” the assistant chief said.
City firefighters remained on the scene overnight, clearing the scene just before 8 a.m. today.
“There was one engine left on standby because it was still smoldering a bit,” Morello said.
The house was declared a total loss and Red Cross was called in to assist Owens, Morello said.