Vermonters in some parts
of the state awoke to temperatures well below zero Tuesday. And when the
thermometer reads negative 37 degrees, like it did at Tom Rogers' house in
Stowe, staying warm and staying safe can sometimes be challenging.
One homeowner in Richmond
was trying to protect his home from the cold Tuesday morning when disaster
homeowner was trying to thaw some pipes with a heater under the trailer. They
froze up overnight," Richmond Fire Chief Thomas Levesque said.
Levesque says the owner
was using a portable propane can, which sparked the blaze. Crews were on the
scene quickly. They say flames were shooting from the mobile home on Summer Street when they arrived.
"I could see smoke
coming through one window and starting to deteriorate the roof area. And then
once it broke through the roof, oxygen got to the fire-- it just spread through
the whole trailer," Levesque said.
The owner of the trailer
was the only one home at the time. He escaped unharmed and officials say he was
lucky. They say it's important that people are prepared before the cold weather
"In this cold
weather, make sure you do things safely. Make sure your heating system's been
tuned up, make sure you don't use any open flames to thaw pipes. Use a
hairdryer or something like that," Levesque said.
The Red Cross is providing
assistance to the family in Richmond.
Vermont State Police are
also asking people to check in on their neighbors. They say they found an
elderly woman in Georgia Monday night without any heat on in her home.
"It just comes back
to looking out for your neighbors, especially those neighbors who may have
needs requiring that they be checked on, especially those elderly neighbors
that live alone," Vt. State Police Lt. John Flannigan said.
Some schools had to close
Tuesday because their buses wouldn't start, just one more casualty of these
cold winter days.