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Homeowner Trying to Thaw Pipes with Blow Dryer and Heater Wakes Up to Terrifying Scene

"I don't know what happened."

Image source: KDKA-TV

Image source: KDKW-TV

A homeowner trying to thaw pipes under the floors with a blow dryer and either a propane or kerosene heater sparked a large fire that completely destroyed his residence north of Pittsburgh.

Leonard Szulczewski, at times in tears, told KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh that he lost everything in Friday afternoon's multiple-alarm fire, including his treasured baseball memorabilia collection.

"I don't know what happened," he said after the blaze in Marion Township. "I went out and checked it, I took my chemo medicine..." as his voice trailed off into quiet sobs.

Image source: KDKA-TV

Szulczewski said he apparently fell asleep on a couch, was awakened by popping sounds, and manged to escape safely. KDKA reported that his family was away on vacation at the time of the fire.

His single-story home was built on stilts because of how close it was to a nearby creek (along with the creek’s history of flooding).

Firefighters battled the flames in frigid, single-degree temperatures “The house was so far gone, there was nothing we could do to save it when we got to the scene,” Assistant Fire Chief John Murtha told KDKA.

Here's a report from KDKA:

(H/T: Drudge Report)

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