Grass fire engulfs 100 cars

Grass fire engulfs 100 cars

03 April 2010

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Canada —    A controlled burn quickly spread into a grass fire that ignited at least 100 cars and two trailers filled with wood yesterday afternoon.

The blaze at the Dekruiff farm on Sixth Concession Road West, off Highway 8, exploded tires and several propane tanks, sending thick black smoke into the air for several hours.

It consumed more than 30 acres on the 125-acre property, said Hamilton fire public safety officer John Verbeek.

The property owner had an open-air burn permit and was burning rubbish behind the house when the wind changed and embers flew out onto the grass shortly after noon, he said.

Another person, who does not own the farm property, rents out the field space where many old cars were stored. Verbeek said some of the cars looked like antiques.

There was no business on the property, he said.

The former cattle farm is owned by Nancy Coverdale’s parents. She said her family was supervising the controlled burn when it spread quickly.

“They told my 12-year-old daughter to run and tell her grandma that it was spreading, but before she even got to the house it was too late,” she said.

No one was injured but the fire commanded significant manpower. There were 12 fire vehicles and crews taking turns battling the fire.

The fire was one of a handful of grass fires across Hamilton yesterday.

Verbeek said given the warm weather and holiday, he expected many people would be using their burn permits. But he cautioned people to be aware of wind conditions and put out the fire immediately if embers are flying.

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