January 23, 2003

Controlled Burn Gets Away From Property Owner

Windy conditions helped spread a controlled burn beyond the safety boundary and forced property owners to call for aid from the Scotland County Fire Department early on the morning of January 15.

An abandoned home located approximately seven miles northwest of Memphis on Route B was being destroyed by the property owner, Lane Hines. The ground around the home had been cleared by a bulldozer creating a burn barrier to allow the remnants of the old house to be burned. However strong winds helped spread the fire beyond the barrier where grass and brush caught fire and spread a small line of flames toward a power line with live electrical wires.

Hines reportedly contacted the fire department because of the threat to the utility pole as well as the fear the fire might possibly spread further into the surrounding field.

The fire department responded to the call at 6:50 a.m. and sent three fire trucks and a dozen firemen to the scene where the blaze was quickly brought under control despite problems created with water sources due to temperatures well below freezing.

The fire department was assisted at the scene by the Scotland County Sheriff's Department. The emergency service workers were on the scene for approximately one hour.

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