Woods fire creates long night for firefighters, homeowners

A slow-burning fire in a thick-wooded area was a recipe for a long night for firefighters, according to Crockery Township Deputy Fire Chief John Kriger.
Becky Vargo
Jul 18, 2012


Firefighters responded to the home of Todd and Jeannine Pastrick, 14216 Taft St., about 9 p.m. Tuesday when a neighbor discovered fire in the woods behind their home.

“We were at the beach and just came home,” said Todd Pastrick. “We sat down to watch a movie and the neighbor came over and said there’s a fire.”

Pastrick said he and his son, Alex, and Alex’s friend, Noah Pierce, grabbed shovels and rakes and started knocking down the fire, which was burning behind his pole barn and another neighbor’s home. Several of the neighbors also came out to help.

Kriger said the flames were about 2-3 feet high and moving at a slow-enough pace for firefighters to contain it, but access was difficult and there was still a lot of smoldering embers well beyond 10 p.m.

The fire was under control by that point, but the Michigan Department of Natural Resources bulldozer was requested to create a fire break and to create access for the brush truck to get into still smoldering areas, Kriger said.

The deputy chief said it was a good thing the fire started later in the evening because the strong breeze blowing earlier had died down.

Kriger said about 3 acres burned.

Firefighters were on the scene until 2 a.m., Pastrick said this morning. They returned at 7 a.m. to put out some flare-ups, he said.

“Not much sleep for us last night,” Pastrick said.

The cause of the fire was unknown at the time, although Kriger said some neighbors heard fireworks earlier in the evening.




When there is a burn ban in place it needs to also include fireworks now that the restrictions were lifted on the type of fireworks that can be sold in Michigan. I am not against the fireworks but with the extreme drought conditions I also worry about fires from the fireworks


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