Barbecue briquettes cause fire on Ritchie Street

CAITLIN KOONCE, Evergreen reporter

A fire broke out at 10 a.m. Wednesday between two houses on Ritchie Street.

A pedestrian passing by was said to see smoke rising through two houses and rushed to call the fire department, said Deputy Fire Marshall Tony Nuttman.

Nuttman said the fire started in the grass and escalated to a nearby fence. It then moved onto a tree which resulted in minor burn damage to the shed of one of the houses. It took the fire department about 1 hour to extinguish the fire, he said.

After talking to the owners of the houses, Nuttman said, the fire department learned that one of the owners started the fire by dumping barbecue briquettes from the prior night onto the grass. The briquettes were not properly extinguished which caused the grass to begin to burn.

“Fires double in size every 30 to 60 seconds,” Nuttman said.

It is important to properly put out all materials that come in contact with flames, he said, and to call the fire department for any size fire.

Nuttman said, if the fire is small, you can attempt to extinguish it yourself but always call the fire station.

He said it is not uncommon for fires during the summer, but it is easy to avoid them by properly disposing of flammable materials.