Small Breckenridge house fire caused by buried gas meter and falling ice, investigators say | SummitDaily.com

Small Breckenridge house fire caused by buried gas meter and falling ice, investigators say

Summit Daily staff report
news@summitdaily.com

A small fire at a house in Breckenridge on Thursday was caused by a buried gas meter and falling snow and ice that broke a gas line, investigators said.

The fire started during the mid-afternoon on Thursday and was quickly extinguished. There were no injuries.

The weight of the falling ice broke the gas line, and the leaking gas was trapped under the snow and up against the siding of the house, Red, White & Blue Fire Protection District chief Jim Keating said. The gas was then ignited by a heat and flame source coming from a nearby fireplace vent.

"The lesson learned here as we get into the snow and rapid thaw portion of our season is to protect your gas meter and any exterior piping from sliding snow and ice," Keating said. "Do not allow your meter to become buried in snow, because that can create a very dangerous situation."

Keating added that it is also important to keep all gas flues and exterior vent pipes free of snow and ice, especially in times of high winds when snow can easily drift and block vents.

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