Straw Bale Home Destroyed By Owner Gaffe, Pig And Family Escape
|By Michael d'Estries in Dumb Ideas | March 30, 2009|
I’m a big fan of straw bale homes — one of the most efficient building methods available. So it was with great interest that I spied a headline saying one had been burned down — a rarity since such homes are also highly resistant to fire. Of course, reading a bit further revealed the cause. From the article,
A family of six was burned out of their straw-bale home in Boulder County early Friday after an attempt to thaw pipes with a blowtorch set the structure on fire. Cmdr. Rick Brough, spokesman for the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, said the owner, Eric Akia, was in the crawl space attempting to thaw frozen pipes when the fire started. The family lost almost everything, including their pet fish, Brough said. The family’s three dogs, cat, parrot and pig were saved. The secluded home was on an unplowed road, making it difficult for firefighters to reach. Snowplows had to first clear the road.
Obviously, we’re happy that everyone escaped (sans fish, RIP), including the pig — which just adds a bit of humor to the whole straw theme. As one commenter noted: “Cable TV (DIY Network) has taught me never to attempt to thaw frozen pipes with a torch, but with a hairdryer. Fire is one risk, but so is boiling the water inside the pipes and damaging them.” Good point.
We wish this family the best in recovering from their loss — and hope they’ll once more consider building a straw bale home.