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A town of Saukville man refused to put out his cigarette when firefighters respond to call at his gas-saturated home. He is facing two criminal charges.

A Town of Saukville man is facing felony charges for refusing to put out his cigarette after firefighters came to his home and found it full of natural gas.

Lawrence E. Piper, 31, was charged in Ozaukee County Circuit Court Tuesday with one count of second-degree reckless endangerment of safety and one count of negligent handling of burning materials. If convicted, he faces up to nearly 11 years in prison and $35,000 in fines.

According to the criminal complaint:

On Sept. 28, Saukville firefighters were called to the 2800 block of South Riverside Drive for a gas leak. Firefighters arrived at the scene and first had issues with getting equipment down a one-third mile driveway, then more safety concerns were raised when an explosives meter showed a high saturation of gas on the property.

Firefighters got to the home and saw Piper smoking a cigarette near an open door to the home. He was told three times by officials to put it out, but he refused and walked away.

A woman at the property said Piper “didn’t want to waste a cigarette.”

The complaint states the explosives meter showed 100 percent gas saturation within the home. Anything more than 2 percent saturation is considered in the explosive range, in which simply turning on a light switch can ignite an explosion.

Piper will make his initial appearance in court Dec. 19. 

Greg October 18, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Ya can't fix stupid, let him blow himself up.
Rumours October 22, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Stupid is as stupid does......
Craig October 22, 2012 at 08:30 PM
The firefighters should have hosed him down to put out the smoke, he likely needed a shower too.
Julia Bartelt October 31, 2012 at 09:16 PM
That guy was a complete idiot... I also have to say as a former tennant (who was sued & won the case in court) of this slum lord, that that house needs to be demolished... there's far more issues than just gas leaks there.
Jeremy Bartelt October 31, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Yeah at least when I lived there you could get a dump truck, semi, even a fire truck down that wretched driveway. Just demolish the dump already.

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