Workers cutting pipe spark 30-acre brush fire

9NEWS at 9 p.m. 10/13/16.

KUSA – A crew working on a driveway gate accidentally sparked a 30-acre fire in Parker that evacuated residents and threatened homes.

The fire started about 3:00 p.m. along the 6200 block of Crowfoot Valley Road near the Pradera Subdivision.

“With the dry fuel, the warm temperatures and a little bit of breeze, the fire was quickly moving up this hill toward homes,” said Einar Jensen, spokesman for South Metro Fire Rescue Authority.

Jensen said reverse emergency notifications were sent out to 44 residents Wednesday afternoon.

“At one point, it did get close to some homes,” he said. “We have five homes directly threatened by this wildfire.”

As crews worked to put out the fire, Ken Garcia watched from a driveway off Crowfoot Valley Road.

“Look at that smoldering up there,” Garcia said, watching the smoke rising from the blackened brush. “I’m not going to leave as long as that thing’s smoldering, you know. We gotta put that fire out.”

Garcia said he and two other men were working to repair a gate on the driveway Wednesday afternoon.

“We were using the cut wheel to cut a little piece of steel cause we were going to weld it onto the existing steel,” Garcia explained.

Garcia admitted sparks were flying as they cut the steel over the asphalt driveway.

“I think the sparks from the grinder probably caught the field on fire,” Garcia said.

When the men noticed the fire, they dumped water bottles and a cooler over the flames to try to keep them from spreading.

“We tried, did everything in our power to stop the fire,” Garcia said.

Dry grass, warm temperatures and a slight breeze were all the fire needed to grow.

“That wind came out of nowhere,” Garcia said.  “I don’t know where it came from. It just – that fire spread so fast.”

Garcia said he call 911 when the fire got out of control. South Metro Fire Rescue Authority and several other agencies responded to the fire. The flames were fully contained by 4:40 p.m.

One person was taken to the hospital for minor smoke inhalation and a firefighter was treated at the scene, but later went back to work.

No charges were filed against Garcia or the other workers because investigators ruled the fire an accident.

 

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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