CALL IT IN
Four properties damaged in latest incident in Florence
If you see a grassfire, call the local fire department, says chief.
Chief Dave Julian is urging people to call whenever they see a grass fire.
“Often people think someone else will probably call it in but this didn’t happen on Monday,” said the chief of the Florence Volunteer Fire Department.
“When we rolled up, the scene looked like a war zone. The fire extensively damaged a two-vehicle garage on Pitt Street. It quickly developed into a major brush fire and eventually spread across four properties catching people’s fences on fire and threatened a nearby barn.”
This time of year the Florence fire department is kept busy often from noon through to the early hours of the morning, fighting grass fires.
“It’s like this for every volunteer fire department,” said Julian. “It’s the second garage fire we had in a month caused by a ‘harmless’ grass fire. The first near Pond Bridge unfortunately was a total loss.”
When the firefighters arrived on scene at around 3:45 p.m., Monday there was a heavy fire load in the rear and inside the garage.
A motorcycle and two classic cars were removed from the garage without damage.
“It’s very frustrating knowing that this structure fire started as a grass fire someone set. People need to be reporting these while they are still just grass fires to help prevent further damage,” Julian said. “Don’t worry that it may have already been called in, that doesn’t matter. What
matters is people take notice and call it in, it’s just a few seconds of their time.”
Referring to the Easter long weekend, Julian said almost every volunteer firefighter in the regional municipality was out all hours of the night and day fighting grass fires.
“Easter Sunday we had seven grass fires all at the same time and we have five trucks. It is
impossible to keep up.”
Julian is also urging residents to pile their heavy garbage away from trees, utility poles or structures.
“During that structure fire on Monday I was driving along the road looking for the fire hydrant and because it was surrounded by heavy garbage I didn’t see it,” he said.
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