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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Brush fires threatened area Tuesday

Friday, April 18, 2003

Michele Driscoll photo

Brazil firefighters worked at a brush fire Tuesday. Flames threatened Yankee Rose Landscaping and Nurseries on SR 59.


Times Staff Writer

Brazil Fire Chief Joe Bennett told The Times Thursday that an unidentified person set a pile of brush and limbs on fire along a fence row between the north side of Yankee Rose Landscaping and Nurseries and a wooded area on SR 59 North on Tuesday.

As first reported Wednesday, dry ground conditions and wind gusts of 20-25 m.p.h. helped spread Tuesday's fire.

"The fire started at approximately 1:15 p.m. and was left unattended. It was discovered by a Yankee Rose employee who then told one of the owners, Kim Bourff, about the fire. She then called Randy, her husband (and co-owner), who was out on a job, about the fire. He returned to the business and tried to push down the burn pile with a small bulldozer, but was unsuccessful. That's when we got the call," Bennett said.

Brazil Fire Department responded at 2:04 p.m. and put fires out that were close to the building; however, the city department needed additional help to put out the fire that burned approximately five acres.

"Randy knocked down an area of fence with his bulldozer to allow trucks into the woods that was full of downed trees and foliage. The fire jumped a creek and spread through the hills and hollers (hollows) and when it got to the bottom of one hill, the wind couldn't get to it. And there was a pond nearby that helped stop the fire," Bennett said.

Van Buren, Dick Johnson, Jackson Township and Posey Volunteer Fire Departments were called to assist with tankers and brush trucks.

However, when Posey arrived at the scene, that department received a call about another brush fire in that township and had to leave. Bennett sent the Jackson department along to assist Posey along with Center Point and Cory Volunteer Fire Departments.

Madison Township Volunteer Fire Department in Putnam County was called to assist on SR 59 North. About an hour into that fire, another call went out for help to put out a horse barn fire at the Larry Evans residence a few miles away at 11199 N. SR 59.

Bennett said that fire was unrelated to the brush fire and was started by an electrical short in ceiling lights. No horses were injured and only the roof sustained severe damage. Brazil, Dick Johnson and Madison Township firefighters put that fire out in less than a half hour and then returned to the brush fire next to Yankee Rose., which was out at 4:02 p.m.

"If it weren't for all the help from surrounding fire departments and Yankee Rose employees, that fire could have easily spread all the way to Knightsville Road. With these dry conditions and high winds, people have got to stay with the fires they start and not let them get too big," Bennett said.

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