A sparking fuse box ignites a cheat grass fire in the county Thursday. City fire fighters have to track down the source of a burning odor in a North Oak apartment house.
A grass fire and a hot ceiling fan brought out city and county firefighters Thursday afternoon and evening.
On Thursday afternoon, Berry Bortz was preparing to pump some water into a tank using an electric pump at an abandoned farm site at SE 100th Avenue and SE 70th Street. The pump wouldn't start so Bortz said he put some new fuses in a pole mounted fuse box.
When he put the fuse in the box and flipped the switch, sparks flew out of the box and onto the ground that was covered with thick cheat grass and other dead weeds. The dried grass immediately caught fire and it quickly started to spread.
Bortz tried to stomp out the fire but it had too much fuel and quickly spread out of control.
He quickly called 911 and Sawyer Firefighters were dispatched to the scene. Firefighters quickly knocked down the fire that burned a small area of cheat grass. It also destroyed a very small storage shed and damaged the power pole and shade covering for the yard light.
It took about an hour to get everything extinguished. No one was injured in the fire and only grass and the small shed were destroyed in the fire.
While the Sawyer fire department had no trouble finding the fire, it took the Pratt Firefighters a few minutes to locate the source of an unusual odor at an apartment house at 524 North Oak. A resident called 911 to report the strange odor.
When firefighters arrived, no smoke and no flame were seen at the apartment house. After a thorough search of the building, it was discovered that a ceiling fan was overheating and giving off the offensive odors. The fan was disconnected and caused no damage to the residence occupants.