WATER HEATER FIRE - 09/27/2013

Pierceton, Indiana


Michael Leavitt

As a Utah Home Inspector I have had to report diozens of times the

need to replace the mobile/modular home floor beneath a leaking water heater. Particle board and subflooring quickly becomes “Was Wood” when exposed to a leaking unit. When the floor rots out, then the heavy weight of the water filled unit shifts and this can shear the gas line and cause a fire.

  • WHEN: September 27, 2013
  • INJURIES: None
  • CAUSE: Floor below water heater rotted out causing a fall and shearing of the LP gas line.
  • DAMAGES: $25,000

Trailer Fire Leaves Couple Homeless

September 27, 2013

Stacey Page

A fire in Pierceton Thursday night left two people homeless.

PIERCETON, INDIANA - Pierceton Fire Department was called at 9:30 p.m. to 5358 E. Washington Rd., Pierceton, where a mobile home was reportedly burning. By the time crews arrived on scene, the trailer was fully engulfed and Winona Lake Fire Department was called for a full assist.

The occupants of the trailer, Wade and Bobbi Starkey, were able to exist the home unharmed. They are being assisted by the American Red Cross of Kosciusko County.

According to Squad 70 investigator Gordon Baker, the fire began when a particle board below a water heater in the home broke, causing the water heater to shift it’s position. According to Baker, the break was the result of both aging and a water leak. After the heater moved, Baker stated it kinked a nearby LP gas line that resulted in a leak. That leak was then ignited by the water heater and spread to nearby combustibles.

The total amount of lost property is estimated at about $25,000.

Multi-Township EMS also assisted on scene.



“It didn't only leave 2 people homeless, it left 2 families homeless for a total of 6 people. 5 adults and a 1 year old little boy!!”




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