George Fire Chief Bill Sprock reports the call came in about 12:50 Monday afternoon. The fire was three miles north of George and two miles east, on an abandoned farm place, owned by Linda Kramer of George.
Sprock says on arrival, the George Fire Department saw the house was fully engulfed in fire. Sprock says fortunately there were no outbuildings on the place. He did say that a small part of the grove was on fire as well.
Sprock says they called for help from the Little Rock and Rock Rapids Fire Departments. Both departments supplied a tanker, and Little Rock also brought their pumper. He says they used about 25,000 gallons of water to put out the fire.
The chief says it appeared to have been caused by an unattended rubbish fire. He says apparently someone had built a fire in a trash can on south side of the house. However, the property owner says she was not burning anything on the place, so it’s not known if someone was there the night before, or how the fire was started.
The place hadn’t been lived in for ten to fifteen years, says Sprock. Before the fire, the outside of the house may have been okay, but now it is a total loss he says.
Sprock says crews were there for two and a half hours. They were called back however, fifteen minutes later, when the fire started up again. The second time they were there about 45 minutes.
The chief reports that it was lucky that there was a grove all the way around place. He says that kept most embers from going too far. He says the place is next to corn and soybean fields with the crop still on the stalk, so they were quite concerned the fire would spread — especially during Monday’s Red Flag conditions.