By Conrad Dudderar
Two houses, a shed and fences were damaged during a fast-spreading fire last Saturday afternoon in Yukon.
“Just because it has rained a little bit, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have dry conditions out,” Yukon Fire Battalion Chief Brad Homme said.
“There are still a lot of dry leaves and dry grass that are up on the surface, even if the under layer is wet. We want to caution people who think ‘everything is good’ because it rained.”
Yukon Fire crews were dispatched at 4:44 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11 to a reported grass fire in the 600 block of Ottawa Place, at the corner of Queensboro Place.
One man was on the side of his house using a grinding tool, which emitted sparks that started burning grass and leaves. The fire abruptly spread to a nearby shed and fences.
“It actually ended up involving the exterior of both of those homes, and a little into the attic of the neighbor’s house,” Homme said.
“Anytime you’re using grinders, torches or any tool that emits sparks, you need to keep in mind you may have dry conditions.”
After a 911 call, the Yukon Fire Department’s engine two and brush pumper two arrived at the scene.
“They were able to get there really quick and get a really good ‘knockdown’ on it,” Homme said. “They had it under control within a minute or two.
“They were able to really minimize the damage to the two structures there.”
Other units responding were engine one, rescue one and battalion one. An Oklahoma City fire engine was requested at the scene on mutual aid.
YFD personnel remained on scene for an extended time to overhaul and put out “hot spots” in the attic area of the exposure.
“There were a lot of miscellaneous equipment and tools around that shed, so it took a while to make sure everything was really out,” Homme said.
An estimated $40,000-$50,000 in damage was reported to the structures and contents.
DO NOT HESITATE
Yukon residents are reminded not to wait to call 911 when they see fire break out.
In some cases, people try to extinguish a fire with water buckets and hoses before deciding to call the YFD.
One person resident was taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries and smoke inhalation sustained while trying to douse last Saturday’s blaze, according to Homme.
“If they do have some type of a fire, it’s always best to call early rather than trying to take the matter into your own hands,” the Yukon battalion chief emphasized.
“The quicker they call us, the quicker we can be on the way. As this fire showed, it can grow very quickly.”