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Plumbers 'Sweating' Pipes Caused Fire, Chief Says

One person was injured in the Tuesday afternoon blaze near the intersection of Prospect Avenue and Beryl Street.

A fire in a two-story townhome complex Tuesday afternoon near the corner of Prospect Avenue and Beryl Street in South Redondo Beach caused about $10,000 worth of damage, according to the Redondo Beach Fire Department.

Plumbers "sweating" copper pipes with a torch in one of the units accidentally started the fire at about 2:30 p.m., according to Division Chief Paul Rappaport. Though they tried to extinguish the fire, it went into the wall and spread to the townhomes' attic.

The 24 firefighters dispatched to the scene had the blaze under control within 20 minutes, Rappaport said.

One person was treated at the scene for a burn on his hand, then transported to a nearby hospital, Rappaport said.

People in two units were displaced due to fire damage, he said. He did not know when they would be able to return home.

South Bay Resident November 18, 2012 at 04:04 PM
When sweating pipes...it is often good practice to place a welder's blanket between or around the pipe area being sweated. Or to block what flammable materials you can...or if you cannot fit a welder's blanket around the pipe, then it is also good to have an assistant (if they can access the space with you) to stand by with a DRY powder fire extinguisher. Here are two Amazon links for Welding Blankets: http://www.amazon.com/Hobart-770635-Heat-Treated-Fiberglass-Welding/dp/B0049U4X82/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353254328&sr=8-1&keywords=welders+blanket http://www.amazon.com/Lenco-8820-08820-Welding-Blanket/dp/B0021URQSQ/ref=pd_cp_hi_2 These blankets have saved me...AND my client's homes/businesses...but especially ME...since I am the one doing the job. Insurance is a legal must...obviously...but common sense and planning ahead are best. AND...KNOW YOUR CONTRACTOR! Build relationships, trust and do the job right the first time.

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