Fires in Jerusalem Twp. were accidental

Kelly J. Kaczala

         The Jerusalem Township Fire Department responded to a garage fire at 12412 LaFontaine Dr. on Feb. 11. The cause was an unattended fire in a burn barrel that accidentally spread to the garage, said Jerusalem Township Fire Chief Tony Parasiliti.
         Oregon Fire and Rescue, and the Allen-Clay Joint Fire District assisted.
         The fire jumped a water filled ditch and started to spread towards other properties, but the fire was contained. “It jumped a ditch and started up the bank of the ditch and then onto the grass towards other properties,” said Parasiliti.
        Fuel containers inside the garage triggered some explosions, he added. The garage was totally destroyed.
        Earlier in the day, the Jerusalem Township Fire Department, with assistance from Oregon Fire and Rescue, and the Allen-Clay Joint Fire District, responded to a fire in a field at Elliston and Veler roads, he added. That fire was also accidental. A brush fire in a burn pit spread to 30 acres of grass.
        The wind caused the fire to spread quickly, he said.
        The chief said he doesn’t recall seeing a fire spread to the grass in both incidents in the month of February.
        “It was warm, windy and dry on that day,” he said. “We don’t see these types of fires in the winter.” He said it was fortunate it wasn’t more windy on that day.
         Nobody was injured in either fire, he said.
        “Never leave a fire unattended,” cautioned the chief. “Some people will start a fire in a burn barrel or a burn pit, then walk away, thinking it will be OK. But it can spread,”
        On Wednesday, the fire department responded to a mulch fire at Lake Erie Tree Service. North Curtice Road was temporarily closed because the fire department was using a water hydrant on St. Rt. 2. There were no injuries.


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