Northwest Iowa Firefighters Stay Busy Thursday; Strong Wind A Factor In Some Fires

Picture of Sanborn dump/field fire submitted by a listener

Sanborn, Iowa — The Sanborn Fire Department had a busy day on Thursday, responding to two fires at the same time. Other fire departments were called out as well.

Sanborn Fire Assistant Chief Jeff Keuhl says several acres of stubble were burned in a fire near the town tree dump. And while firefighters were fighting that fire, they were called to the report of a garage fire in town.

According to Keuhl, at about 4:00 p.m., the Sanborn Fire Department was called to the report of a fire at the tree dump in Sanborn.

The assistant chief says the fire department saw the field on fire next to the tree dump. He says it was moving pretty fast due to the 40-mile-per-hour winds as they approached the scene. He says they used three rigs to fight the fire. He says the dump has been smoldering for three months after they burned it off while there was snow on the ground. He says the strong winds must have ignited the fire and an ember must have blown into the field.

Just before 4:20 p.m., the call came in of a second fire, which Keuhl says was unrelated to the first one. He tells us the second fire was a garage fire in the alley of 208 West 5th Street. He says the single-stall garage with a lean-to was half engulfed when they arrived.

He says the cause of the garage fire is undetermined, but it may have started in the lean-to. He emphasised that the garage fire and the tree dump fire were not related. He says the garage was totaled, along with its contents, which were some personal items in storage. He says there were no vehicles in the garage. He says about 30 acres of corn stubble burned in the other fire.

Assistant Chief Keuhl says no injuries were reported in either fire.

He says when they were called to the garage fire, they left one unit at the tree dump and called for assistance from the Primghar, Hartley, and Sheldon firefighters. He says the Sheldon Fire Company helped at the garage fire and the Primghar and Hartley fire departments helped with the tree dump field fire.

He estimates they wrapped up their efforts at the garage fire about 5:00 p.m. and the tree dump field fire about an hour later.

The Sheldon Fire Company actually had their own call earlier in the day. Fire Chief Brad Hindt says the call to Fieldcrest happened because a plastic serving tray had been left on a stove, and somehow a burner accidentally got turned on, which melted the tray. He says that smoked up the apartment and the hallways, so firefighters ventilated the hallways with a positive-pressure fan to clear the smoke out.

Earlier Thursday afternoon, the Matlock and Boyden fire departments were called out to a grass fire near Matlock.

Matlock Chief Bruce Steggeman says the fire was at 280th Street and Marsh Avenue, two and a half miles east of Matlock on L14. He says the fire started with a rekindled burn pit, also caused by the strong winds. He says it burned across a pasture and into the ditch. Only grass burned. Steggeman says the Boyden firefighters respond to all Matlock calls.


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