Cigarette causes $500,000 fire in south Edmonton

   Bald Knob farmer dies in brush fire

28 April 2009

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USA — An autopsy will be performed today on a Bald Knob farmer who died in a brush fire on St. Johns Road Monday.

Emergency personnel discovered the burned remains of Harold Atha, 59, of 4669 St. Johns Road, Monday morning after his family reported him missing.

Emergency Management Director Deron Rambo said Atha’s family reported him missing at about 5:30 a.m. Monday after he went to repair a fence on Sunday.

“They got concerned after he didn’t come after dark,” Rambo said.

Atha was discovered about 100 yards from his tractor and had been burned, Rambo said. A fire had burned about 10 acres of nearby brush, he said.

Rambo said it’s unclear how the fire started or how it spread. However, when he investigated Monday morning, Rambo said the fire was still smoldering.

“It was very fresh,” he said. “The whole hillside had been burned.”

Franklin County Coroner Will Harrod, the Kentucky State Police and the Kentucky Division of Forestry investigated the fire. Harrod could not be reached for comment but deputy coroner Kelly Adams confirmed Atha’s identity.

Kentucky State Police spokesman Trooper Ron Turley said foul play or arson is not suspected in an ongoing investigation.

Lynn Brammer, spokesperson for the Kentucky Division of Forestry, said a district forest ranger and wildland fire behavior specialist assisted with the investigation. She said it was unclear what caused the fire.

However, she said the fire was unusual because it was not reported although it burned approximately 10 acres.

“It didn’t seem to be anything the neighbors noticed or were concerned about,” she said.

This brush fire was one of more than 100 reported statewide over the weekend

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