Fatal fire started as controlled burn

Fatal fire started as controlled burn

12 March 2011

published by www.winfieldcourier.com

USA — A four-acre grass fire that resulted in the death of a rural Arkansas City man was caused by a controlled burn of a brush pile that was carried by winds to surrounding property, Ark City Fire Department officials said.

Eugene Hoag, 76, died Thursday of injuries sustained in the fire.

He died at Via Christi Hospital on North St. Francis in Wichita, where he was transported after treatment at the fire scene and at South Central Kansas Medical Center.

“The cause of fire was determined to be related to a brush pile being burned in the vicinity that got out of control, burning on six different properties covering approximately four acres,” said Interim Fire Chief Les Parks. “Winds with gusts up to 18 to 20 miles per hour played a part in the fire moving so rapidly.”

Firefighters located Hoag when they arrived at the scene, near 284th and 101st roads at the Ridge Acres subdivision.

They were dispatched to the scene at 3:51 p.m. on a report of a grass fire at 10908 284th Lane.

The 911 dispatcher also sent an EMS unit to the same location, Parks said. Firefighter personnel began advanced life support measures to stabilize the patient until the EMS unit arrived.

Hoag was transported to SCKMC in critical condition, and he later was transported by helicopter to the St. Francis Via Christi Hospital Burn Unit, Parks said.

The fire involved four acres of grass and caused minor burns to three separating structures, said Lt. Chet Ranzau, of the fire department. It threatened six or seven different residences, he added.

“Please take all precautions when burning in the county,” Parks said in a press release. “The potential of grass fires is increased due to wind and warmer temperatures.”

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