No, this wasn’t me. It was close, though…just a few miles up the road in West Leb.
I’m pretty certain the guy tried to melt the frozen pipes with a propane torch. After setting fire to various things (intentionally and safely) last weekend, I can say that tool is definitely the worst possible choice for any sort of heat application indoors, no matter how cold the garage or basement. The flame is nearly invisible and very hot (on the order of 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit/1,900 degrees Celsius). Using that puppy indoors, especially in a wooden structure, is just asking for a major fire insurance claim.*
Yesterday, it got so cold (-25F/-30some Celsius) that the well pump in our garage and its adjoining tank froze up. The plumber came out and brought his industrial-grade kerosene heater to warm up the corner of the garage, and 30 minutes later we had water again. Thankfully, that sort of temperature comes around rarely. It was as cold as I can remember it since we moved here three years ago. All three heating systems in the house (propane, wood, and pellet stoves) were working to keep the temperature in the house above 60 degrees. We usually have only the pellet stove running, with the wood stove in use on the really cold days, and the (most expensive to refuel) propane system being the backup for the arctic spells. Now the pipes and well pump casing are wrapped in heating tape, to avoid future H2O solidification.
Yeah, it’s cold as balls on occasion up here, but you know what? We don’t need an A/C in the summer, and the autumn is the payoff for the polar days and all the snow-shoveling.
*UPDATE: Just got the local fish wrapper, which had some details on the blaze. It was an 11-unit apartment building, 110 years old. The landlord did indeed use a blowtorch to thaw pipes. Nobody hurt, but half a dozen pets missing and presumed dead. The building was worth $350,000, and it was not insured against fire.