Grass fire in Dayton sparked by power line

Grass fire in Dayton sparked by power line

24 September 2008

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USA — Neighbors on Rose Peak Drive in Dayton said they heard a loud bang and then felt the concussion from what they thought was an explosion just before a grass fire erupted near the fence lines of homes on the east side of the street last Wednesday.

While some people summoned firefighters, others sprang to action shoveling dirt on the flames and using garden hoses to keep the fire from spreading throughout the open field filled with cheatgrass and sagebrush between their back yards and U.S. 50.

It was about 10:45 a.m. on Sept. 17 when electrical power to the Rose Peak subdivision and the surrounding neighborhoods was abruptly knocked out. That was when people living within a few blocks of 67 Rose Peak heard the loud noise and noticed the grass fire.

Living next door to where the fire erupted, Charles and Dani Tobey ran outside to see what had happened.

Charles Tobey said he immediately went for his hoses, while another neighbor worked feverishly to shovel dirt on the flames. A few nearby children helped contain the fire to a small area behind a home owned by George Lowe.

After firefighters arrived, neighbors gathered in the Tobeys’ backyard to discuss the probable cause, pointing to a loose power line draped over a line that was still connected to the power pole.

“That was a good response from my neighbors. That made all the difference,” said Charles Tobey.

The Tobeys were ready to move a bright orange 1948 Ford Super Deluxe hot rod out of harm’s way, but the fire was brought under control. Charles Tobey said the car was ready for the show n’ shine at Dayton Valley Days.

Lowe said his daughter lives in the house where the fire started just over the fence. He said the power company put the pole in about five years ago and he told them then that there was a broken insulator.

“I even showed them a piece of the insulator that I picked up off the ground, but they didn’t pay any attention to me,” Lowe said.

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