Firefighters busy with four major calls in three days

Kyle firefighters are coming off a busy week, with four major calls between Nov. 13 and 16.

No injuries were reported in connection with any of the incidents, which included a fire in a chimney on Masonwood, another in the garden area at Lowe’s Home Improvement Center, still another at a mobile home in Green Pastures and finally one at The Strand Apartments in Kyle.

According to Fire Chief Kyle Taylor, the Masonwood fire on Nov. 13. was in a chimney that “got dislodged, maybe due to high winds.” That allowed heat to escape “where it shouldn’t,” sparking the fire. Taylor said damage to the home was minimal and the family was actually able to spend the night there. “They just need a new chimney,” he said.

On Nov. 14, 14 firefighters rushed to the Lowe’s Garden Department for a fire of still-undetermined origin. “There was basically no damage to the building — it was all basically confined to some merchandise.” Taylor said fire crews were on scene for about two hours after the 6 p.m. response.

One day later, a mobile home in Green Pastures was reported on fire around 6 p.m. Taylor said the residence was occupied by a man who managed to get out safely. Reported as a fire that started in the living room, he said the actual original was in a bathroom, and that when firefighters arrived, three-quarters of the structure was burning. Fire crews were unable to save it, he said. The cause of that fire was ruled accidental.

Then on Nov. 16, a kitchen fire at The Strand Apartments broke out. Taylor said the kitchen in the unit was “burned pretty good,” but that sprinklers came on “and kept things in check.”

Initially about 70 people were displaced after firefighters had to cut power to the whole building due to water damage. Taylor said the Red Cross of Central Texas was on scene to assist those who were temporarily homeless, and said everyone but occupants of two units were later allowed to return.

Though each of those incidents had different causes, Taylor said as the holiday season progreses, there are some fire prevention tips residents need to keep in mind.

“Going into the holidays, if you use live trees, make sure to keep them watered.” While holiday lighting has been blamed on Christmas tree fires in the past, he noted that while today’s lights – mainly LEDs – are safer, it’s still crucial to keep live trees watered. “The biggest hazard is with live trees,” he reiterated.

Also, he said, people who intend to fry a turkey for Thanksgiving should “be very careful. Premeasure your oil before you heat it up to make sure it doesn’t spill.”

To report a fire, call 911.

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