Snowblower To The Rescue

Wednesday, February 9, 2011 - 4:38pm

Man uses snowblower to extinguish neighbor's burning house.

Most people wouldn't think to use a snow blower to put out a house fire, but Steve Liubakka of Diorite, Michigan did just that.

When he first saw flames shooting out of his neighbor's window he tried a fire extinguisher.

"I emptied a thirty pounder on there; I knew it was a bigger fire than the 30 pounder was, but the fire was coming out of the picture window and it was up above the eves," says Liubakka.

That's when he resorted to a 32-inch cut, 13 horse power Ariens snow blower to cool the flames.

"I knew she was very hot when I went up to her with the chemical fire extinguisher, so two things you have to do is get the temperature down and the oxygen out of there," Liubakka says

Liubakka blew 16 inches of snow into the front window of the house where the fire started.

"If you looked inside there, you can see the heat was tremendous. It melted everything in every room--it went through there with the heat, with the snow going in there, it knocked it down," says Joseph Cadeau, who owns the burned home.

Cadeau doesn't know if they'll be able to save the home, but he's grateful for all Liubakka did to help.

"He's an excellent neighbor, I thank him very much," Liubakka says.

And as for Liubakka, he's just glad he thought of using the snow blower when he did.

"The fire chief told us, if it wasn't for the snow blower, you wouldn't have a house. The snow blower isn't a $550,000 fire truck, but it did the job," Liubakka says.

Fortunately, no one was injured in the fire.

The Ishpeming Township Fire Department will be investigating the cause of the fire and the damages over the next few days.

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