Even suburban areas threatened by fires

POSTED: Wednesday, September 7, 2011 - 4:48pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am

For homeowner Kay Fromm, losing her house to a fire had never crossed her mind.

But when a nearby transformer exploded igniting a grassfire behind her backyard, her instincts kicked in.

"I called 911, looked over the fence and you could see the flames and everything kind of moving towards our fence from across the fence and I ran inside got a fire extinguisher and grabbed a ladder, put it up over the fence and jumped over the fence and started putting the fire out over there," said Fromm

Fromm said the fire was a reality check.

"This can't be happening to me, um, you know, again you think of wildfires some place else. You don't think of them here. and I was just thinking of all the pictures I've seen in the news about other places where the fires are, and low and behold it's going to be in my yard," said Fromm.

Which is why fire marshals warn suburban areas are just as vulnerable as rural areas in these dry and windy conditions.

So basic maintenance is key.

"It's obviously we're not going to keep our grass green. Best thing is just keep that cut. keep it low, keep it good and cut. If you got any vegetation near the house, trees or anything, go ahead and trim those back just a little bit extra so that if something does happen it won't be under the house," said Jeff Wilhelm, Deputy Fire Marshal. 

Fromm says she's taking other precautions as well to always be ready.

"I've replaced my fire extinguisher that I've used and then I also put another fire extinguisher in my car, um, because you never know when you're going to come up on something as dry as everything is, that you may need a fire extinguisher to put out something that's on the highway or in your neighbor's yard," said Fromm.

Fire marshals also warn those with barbeque pits to grill on a concrete slab if possible and if a fire does start, don't turn on the sprinklers because the grass is already dry and the water will just evaporate in the heat.


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