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Apr 28, 2013 10:42 PM by Tony Spehar - tspehar@koaa.com

Fast moving brush fire threatens Colorado Springs neighborhood

Warm weather and wind allowed a brush fire to spread rapidly and threaten a number of homes on the 5200-block of Brady Road in Colorado Springs on Sunday afternoon.

The Colorado Springs Fire Department received several calls around 3 p.m. about a fire that was quickly moving across an open field off of the Rock Island Trail.

"I just heard like a gunshot or something and I looked up and there's black smoke and flames," described Madison Turner, who lives nearby. "We got everything getting ready to go just in case."

Madison and her brother Ben ran to the top a hill separating their home from their fire and saw flames moving quickly.

"We saw like all these big flames and then we saw it come toward us," said Ben Turner. "It was moving really fast it was one of those things where it was really scary."

Firefighters said the tall, dried-out grass covering the field combined with the recent warm weather and wind allowed the fire to grow to a dangerous size within seconds. However, they were able to contain the flames quickly.

"We were able to capture it as it tried to spread down the ditch first, up the ditch next and then up it tried to get out the other side," explained Battalion Chief Mike Wittry.

Wittry said they were able to put out the fire before any homes were damaged thanks in large part to smart precautions taken by those living nearby. Most of the surrounding homeowners had built fire breaks and kept the grass near their homes trimmed low which kept flames from getting too close to houses.

"They've got defensible space around these houses and that's just really important everywhere," Wittry said. "Especially when you have open fields of fuel like this around your house."

According the Wittry the cause of the fire was deemed suspicious because the deparment had been called to a smaller fire nearby earlier in the day and because of the loud pop heard by Madison Turner. The Colorado Springs Police Department was also on scene talking to witnesses and neighbors. As of late Friday night who or what caused the fire had not been determined.

 

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