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Firefighters kept hopping in blazes tied to ashes, wiring

Jan 9, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Riverton Volunteer Fire Department chief Ralph Estell said residents should be careful when disposing of hot ashes from wood stoves.

"Have a designated place for that," Estell said.

He issued the warning after crews responded Monday to reports of a porch on fire in the 1600 block of North Smith Road.

Estell said the blaze began when someone emptied a can of hot ashes outside of a trailer home there.

"(It was) right next to the porch area," Estell said. "That was the cause of the fire."

Three vehicles and 10 firefighters responded quickly to the scene and extinguished the flames, which had only covered a "small corner" of the porch according to Estell.

"It was pretty much the decking underneath," he said. "Some two-by-fours caught on fire down there, but I'd say it's still usable."

He said there was no damage to the trailer, but firefighters stayed on scene for about 30 minutes to make sure the incident was under control.

Earlier reports

The RVFD responded at about 6 p.m. Sunday to reports that a wooden storage barn had caught fire in the 1500 block of Elmwood Drive. Estell said the structure had "pretty much burned to the ground" by the time firefighters arrived.

"There was still a fire, and we put it out, but there wasn't much holding the roof up," he said. "It had already collapsed."

Two trucks and about nine people responded to the scene, which took about 30 minutes to clear. Estell said the cause of the blaze is under investigation, but he does not think it was suspicious.

On Friday, firefighters were called at about 11:30 a.m. regarding a feed truck engine compartment that had burst into flames on Bee Road.

"The guy driving said he was just driving it, and it just caught on fire," Estell said. "It could have been a leaky fuel line or something, but that's hard to say. Most of the evidence is destroyed in something like that."

The driver of the vehicle reportedly stopped the truck and attempted to put out the blaze with a fire extinguisher, but Estell said the fire was too big for one person to control at that point. One fire truck and five volunteer firefighters responded to the scene and remained for about 30 minutes.

Kinnear fire

Motorists on U.S. Highway 26 through Kinnear likely have noticed a home that burned down there last month. Officials said they responded at about 2:15 a.m. Dec. 14 to the blaze at 11519 U.S. Highway 26. No one was injured in the incident, which reportedly began with an electrical malfunction.

"It was an older house with older wiring," deputy fire chief Dan Oakley said Tuesday.

Initial reports state that

ammunition could be heard exploding at about 2:20 a.m., when the home was 90 percent engulfed in flames. By 2:25 a.m., witnesses said the building was 95 percent engulfed and was a threat to power lines, propane tanks and other homes in the area.

Oakley said he never heard ammunition going off at the scene. He said firefighters contained the blaze and cleared the area by 6 a.m. No one was home at the time of the fire, he added.

"They were out of town," he said. "The brother of the owner was in the area, so he stuck around."

Oakley said another fire destroyed a home in the Johnstown area at 12:30 p.m. New Year's Eve. Though the residents were home at the time, Oakley said no one was injured in the blaze, which took place in the 1400 block of Wyoming Highway 132. He said the incident was not suspicious.

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