Rim runner sparks fires-KY
11 fires sparked by tire rim
April 9, 2010 — Local fire departments were kept busy attempting to put out 11 fires Wednesday afternoon. The fires were ignited along Cranston and Rock Fork Road after the driver of a Ford truck drove his vehicle on just the rim of one of his tires after his tire had gone flat. Sparks flew from the rim causing nearby grassy areas to be set on fire.
“The call came in at 4:45 p.m.,” said Route 377 Volunteer Fire Department Training Officer Danny Blevins. “Several people passing by called in reporting fires along Cranston Road and Rock Fork Road.”
There were nine fires discovered on Cranston Road and two on Rock Fork Road, Blevins said.
“We had one at Evans Cemetery,“ he said. “another along the ditch line at the mouth of Dry Branch Road, and we had some around the 10,000 block of Cranston Road, One at 8280 Cranston Road, and two on Rock Fork Road between the 900 and 1000 block.One of the Rock Fork fires threaten a barn and burned some rolled hay".
Blevins said there were some Good Samaritans who saw the fires and helped to put some of them out.
“One of the larger ones was at the Evans Cemetery,” Blevins said. “There was a Red Flag warning issued that morning. We knew if the fires got away we would have a large fire quickly because of the dry fire conditions.
“The cause of the fire was a gentleman who was hauling scrap in a truck got a flat tire and was driving on a rim for five to six miles,” Blevins added. He was trying to make it to Caudill’s Scrap Yard on Cranston Road. Sparks flew from the rim and hit the grass and ignited it starting each fire.”
Route 377 Fire Department crews called for assistance in putting out the fires.
“We called for brush engines from Farmers and Morehead fire departments for help.” Blevins said. “We had eight firefighters and two engines from Route 377.”
Blevins said people should be aware of climate and environment conditions when it comes to fires. He suggested that citizens who have questions concerning fire conditions or times they can burn trash to contact the proper authorities.
“Be in tune with the weather and be in contact with the Kentucky Division of Forestry, if you have any concerns about fire conditions,” Blevins said.
According to a citation issued by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, Edford C. Gardner, of 1481 Sunset Road, Hillsboro, was stopped at Caudill’s Recycling located at 11445 Cranston Road. Gardner had driven across Rock Fork and up Cranston with a flat tire and driving it on the rim. This action caused several fires along the roadway, police said. Route 377 Fire Department officials detained Gardner at Caudill’s Recycling. The vehicle had not been registered since 2002 and there was no insurance on the vehicle.
Gardner was cited for having no insurance and expired registration. He is due to appear in court on April 21 at 9 a.m.