Peggy Kiefer

Grove Sun

A grassfire started on Tiff City Road when a county worker was mowing near 690 Road.  The worker saw the fire and called it in immediately but strong winds took the flames south and southwest towards the lake.

County commissioner Doug Smith said the worker most likely accidentally hit a rock that sent a spark flying.  He confirmed the worker does not smoke.

Firefighters from Cowskin, Grove, Paradise Point, Wyandotte, Tiff City, Anderson, Hickory grove, Southwest City, Seneca Cayuga and Butler as well the State Department of Forestry were called out to fight the fire. Southwest City and Seneca Cayuga

Several homes were threatened.  A well house and a few outbuildings were destroyed.

The Jackson Family is counting their blessings today.  The fire split and went completely around their home.  Fred Jackson watered and turned the sprinkler on fighting for as long as he could, when his firefighter skills kicked in and he knew there was nothing more he could do alone.  He grabbed important papers and took off.

"There's nothing here that can't be replaced," he said.

The positive thing about all this is there was a lot of thistle out there and it cleared all that," he said pointing to the pasture that was still smoldering.  "Now I just need to go find my cattle."

  According to Grove Fire Chief Lee Dollarhide the fire burned about 600 acres before being contained.   The city of Grove was full of smoke for a short time. Witnesses said people were driving around looking for the fire and calling dispatch assuming the fire was in town. In fact, the fire was several miles away, but winds blowing to the southwest blew smoke into town. Some said they could even smell the smoke indoors.