Fire work: Fourth keeps MFD, JCFD busy Wednesday

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Area firefighters were busy over the Fourth of July Wednesday.

In Manhattan, fireworks started a 3.5 acre grass fire Wednesday night.

Manhattan Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Ryan Almes told KMAN Thursday morning crews were called at 9:33 p.m. and the blaze started near 1836 Grand Vista Lane.

Two fire engines and a brush truck had the fire controlled within a hour.

Almes said the MFD was called to five other grass and brush fires throughout the day.

The Junction City Fire Department responded to nearly a dozen fireworks related calls, according to a press release from the department Thursday morning.

JCFD was dispatch to 211 Cinder Lane for a detached garage fire just after 2 a.m. Wednesday. Crews first on scene a small amount of flame on the west wall of the garage. No car was in the garage. JCFD found a stack of fireworks in the middle of the garage under a futon, all smoldering. Investigation revealed a neighbor was walking by and saw the fire, called 911 and alerted the homeowners to evacuate. Cause was concluded to be improper disposal of fireworks. Damage was estimated to be $1,500.

Another notable call involved a tree fire just before 7:30 p.m. at 202 1st St.

JCFD says upon arrival, crews found a large tree with smoke showing in multiple places around the trunk. The fire was spreading throughout the center of the hollow tree. The tree was on fire from about four feet off the ground up to an estimated nine feet. JCFD Engine 1 deluged the tree until the fire was extinguished. Investigation revealed the fire was reportedly caused by children igniting fireworks inside the tree.

JCFD advised the occupants to prevent this from recurring as the integrity of the tree is questionable and continued weakening could pose a danger to the nearby structure. Firefighters recommended the landlord be contacted and the tree examined by a professional to determine if removal was necessary. The tree was in an already compromised state and the condition worsened by this fire.

Several of the other calls involved improper disposal of used fireworks, or embers from fireworks causing small grass fires.

Neither the JCFD or MFD reported any injuries related to these incidents.

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Brady Bauman

News director, morning show anchor and In Focus host. Former newspaper writer, news and sports. California born, Kansas raised. Questions, news tips can be sent to brady@1350kman.com.

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