Exploding material complicates suppression of Ephrata wild land fire


Exploding material complicates suppression of Ephrata wild land fire

13 May 2013

published by www.ifiberone.com


USA — A fire burned more than three acres, destroyed two buildings and threatened two others at an old homestead near Ephrata.

The fire was first reported at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 12, and flared up again today, May 13.

On Sunday, firefighters with Grant County Fire District 13 and the Ephrata Fire Department responded to the fire at Road 19 and Sage Brush Flats Road, about six miles northwest of Ephrata.

Arriving units found one structure fully engulfed and nearly burned to the ground, according to District 13 Capt. Todd Hufman.

The fire quickly spread to a second outbuilding, which reportedly contained several 55 gallon barrels of an unknown combustible substance. After witnessing several explosions, fire crews allowed the fire to consume the second building and instead focused efforts on stopping the fire’s spread to other buildings and surrounding fields, Hufman said.

Chief Deputy Fire Marshall Bruce Gribble was at the scene Sunday in his role as a firefighter with the Ephrata Fire Department. While the cause and point of origin are not yet known, he and Hufman both believe the fire may have been related to an apparent cleanup effort at the property.

Nobody was at the site when fire crews arrived, but Hufman said a recycle bin and excavator were nearby. Fire officials are still trying to determine who owns the property.

Crews remained at the scene for more than three hours Sunday and were called back to a flare-up Monday at about 12:45 p.m.

Wind pushed the fire into adjacent fields, but it was contained after about an hour of work by fire crews with Grant County Fire districts 13 and 7 and the Ephrata Fire Department.
 


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