Cops: Flower-pot heater sparked Harrisburg fire

A homemade terra cotta heater like the one Lipscomb allegedly built.

A Harrisburg man accused of crafting homemade heaters that allegedly sparked a large fire Jan. 10 waived his preliminary hearing this week.

Timothy Lipscomb, 28, is charged with causing or risking a catastrophe, recklessly endangering another person, endangering the welfare of children and filing a false report.

Investigators said Lipscomb fabricated heaters out of a cookie pan, candles and a terra cotta pot and placed them around his North Second Street apartment. Lipscomb allegedly left the home for more than two hours while his 11-month-old baby son was asleep in his crib.

At some point, prosecutors said, the homemade heaters started a large fire. Though the child was uninjured, investigators said the blaze displaced 12 people and caused about $575,000 in damage.

Lipscomb initially told investigators he awoke to find his house in flames but later admitted to leaving the child alone, according to police. He is next due in court April 4 for a formal arraignment.

Contact Alex Wigglesworth at 215-854-2305 or Follow @phila_lex on Twitter.

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