A Hawthorne man set the insulation of his house on fire while using a propane burner to thaw frozen pipes.

Fire crews responded to the house in the 200 block of N Street in Hawthorne at about 9:30 a.m. and made contact with the homeowner.

“He accidentally lit the insulation and subflooring of the house near the pipes on fire, which we were able to extinguish quickly, minimizing the damage to the subflooring to minor damage to insulation and the pipes that were frozen,” said T.C. Knight, Mineral County Fire Chief.

Knight said it was the first accidental structure fire of the year.

He also said it’s “absolutely not” wise to try and thaw pipes with an open flame, and suggested commercially available insulation if pipes are poorly insulated.

Knight also recommended seeking the assistance of a plumber for frozen pipes.