Burn barrel fire spreads in DeSoto shed

Burn barrel fire spreads in DeSoto shed

By Sharon Wittke

Firemen from the DeSoto Township Fire Protection District responded to a fire in a shed on Crane Road about a mile west of DeSoto Wednesday afternoon.

The fire, which began as a controlled fire in a burn barrel, got out of control and spread to an adjacent shed. Lumber and other building supplies stored there caught on fire, said Jake Rushing, a captain in the Fire Department.

Rushing said members of the all-volunteer Fire Department were on the scene within minutes after the call came in. The fire was nearly extinguished by 5 p.m.


“When they got here, they pulled the line off the truck and started the initial attack,” Rushing said, referring to the water hose on the fire truck.

Scott Lockart, one of the firefighters who arrived first on the scene, said he saw the fire from his house a few blocks away as he was getting the call to report to the fire station. He said the flames shot up about 15 feet into the air.

Lockart said he and the other firefighters, Dale Bandy, Robbie Kupferer and Johnny Needham, were able to get the fire under control before it spread to a nearby unoccupied trailer.

Rushing said it was fortunate no one was injured. He said the quick response by the volunteers likely prevented the fire from causing more damage than it did.

The fire could have spread quickly because of the amount of brush and building materials around the shed, he said.

“The guys did a very good job — I’m very proud of them,” he said.

Ryan Provo lives in the house on the property at 114 Crane Road. He said he was burning debris from a remodeling project in the burn barrel and needed to drive into town, so he threw two buckets of water into the barrel to douse the fire. When he left, he thought the fire was out, he said.


Provo said he heard fire sirens on his way back from town and then saw smoke as he looked down the road.

“There was this giant black cloud going up,” he said.

Provo said he was grateful to the fire department for responding so quickly.

Rushing said the fire department, which is located in DeSoto, has 14 volunteers on its roster and averages about 160 calls a year. The volunteers are also trained in emergency medical and search procedures, he said.

Lockart, who is in charge of training for the department, said the firefighters train at the Regional Training Center in Carbondale. He said the volunteers also receive training on how to extricate victims of car accidents from their vehicles and how to respond to hazardous spills.