The Duncan Banner

March 10, 2013

Fire departments keep busy with recent rash of fires

Derrick Miller
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN —  

Duncan and Marlow firefighters have been keeping busy throughout February and March. And things aren’t getting any easier.
Both fire departments have been dealing with numerous fires, including several structure fires, for about a month. Dry conditions throughout Stephens County is prompting concern from those departments.
Duncan Deputy Fire Chief Dayton Burnside said the past week alone was enough to keep the Duncan Fire Department busy. The department responded to a structure fire Wednesday and two structure fires on Thursday. This doesn’t include several grass fires the firefighters have battled.
“We’re getting hit left and right for some reason,” Burnside said.
All of the fires the department responded to in the past week were deemed accidental. A fire, which burned the porch of a house, in the 300 block of G Street was discovered to have been caused by an improperly disposed of cigarette.
Burnside said carelessness or inattention can cause more problems for area residents and fire departments.
“Think safety first,” he said. “Everything is dried out and dead.”
The Marlow Fire Department also had its engines out of the station house more than usual. The department started its week with a house fire on Rose Road, which was determined to have been caused by a wood-burning stove. This occurred just two weeks after a Duncan church building burned down because of a gas furnace. Marlow also provided mutual aid to Duncan in the battle of the church fire.
Marlow Fire Chief Ryan Hall said his firefighters are keeping a close watch on things, but he is concerned about the dry conditions of the county. Hall said it wouldn’t take much to make a bad situation worse.
“Grassfire time is here,” Hall said. “We’re in high fire danger. We’ve got to make sure we’re ready.” Even with this weekend’s rain, the fire danger remains.
On Thursday, Duncan firefighters responded to a fire near Clear Creek Road. The fire, which required the evacuation of two residences, was discovered by the Duncan Lake Patrol.
County commissioners, Stephens County Sheriff’s Department and several volunteer fire departments (including Bray and Central High) helped to get the fire under control. About $30,000 worth of content was lost because of the fire.
While grassfires are a worry for the departments, Burnside acknowledged the significant increase in the number of structure fires in less than a month.
“We were actually just talking about that,” Burnside said.