Two outdoor fires left unattended at separate Southern Door County locations Monday & Tuesday caused damage to buildings located in the coverage area of the Brussels Union Gardner Fire Department. Fire Chief Kurt Vandertie said Tuesday evening at 6:56PM, firefighters were paged out to the Town of Union after a passerby saw a small shed burning. Vandertie says no one was home when embers from burn barrels ignited dry leaves & the fire traveled several directions, including to a propane tank & a wooded area. Firemen dealt with the blaze rapidly, but a jet ski trailer was damaged & the 10 by 14 foot shed & it’s contents was a total loss. Fire crews wrapped up work shortly after 8PM Tuesday.
On Monday, the Brussels Union Gardner Fire Department was sent to an area near the Brussels hill at 4:05PM to fight a fire that had traveled from a campfire ring to a mobile home. Chief Vandertie said materials had been burned in the ring & they heated up after the property owner left. The flames traveled by way of dry leaves to a wooden deck on the mobile home, then to the front entrance & kitchen area. Chief Vandertie said it was fortunate that two firemen were at the station when the call came in, because they were able to make it to the home within four minutes. If it had taken longer, the fire would have undoubtedly destroyed the home. About 1500 gallons of water was needed to extinguish the blaze which caused damage to the deck, the entrance to the home & a portion of the kitchen. Fire crews were back at the station by 5:10PM Monday. Chief Vandertie expressed appreciation for the help provided by the Door County Sheriff’s Department & emergency medical personnel, as well as mutual aid provided on Monday by the Southern Door & Sturgeon Bay Fire Departments & Casco which provided stand by personnel in Brussels. The Southern Door Fire Department was also asked for help on Tuesday. Vandertie is advising residents to exercise extreme caution with regard to outdoor burning. He says conditions have been too dry & windy for burning permits to be issued &, while burn barrels are permitted in some areas, they should never be left uncovered or unattended. Chief Vandertie says, it was fortunate that damage wasn’t more extensive given the speed that flames moved in fires Monday & Tuesday.