Golden’s Believe It or Not!
Occasionally we come across a fire cause that is hard to believe! Anytime a combustible (burnable) material comes in a contact with a heat source that raises the material to its ignition temperature, a fire can occur. We have seen a crystal ball placed on a bed and sunshine refracting through the ball set the bed on fire. Cats have knocked over candles and set curtains on fire. Dogs have jumped up on ranges after a box of pizza and turned a burner on, and so on. (Yes, it all happened)
But when I was retained to investigate a fire where a technician was running a plumber’s snake to clean out tree roots from a sewage waste line, I was skeptical…
The Story Starts with a Call to the Tech
The technician was sent out to a residence that was experiencing sewage back-ups. As there were trees near the underground lateral to the sewage main in the street, obstruction by tree roots was diagnosed. The technician utilized a “plumber’s snake”, which is a rotating flexible cable, and had a cutting head for this application. The technician initially had trouble getting the snake into the waste pipe access in the crawlspace. He then removed a toilet in the main bath to insert the snake and started to guide the device. These actions are standard practice.
What happened next can easily happen to anyone who works in this business.