Patrick Richardson

Managing Editor

Sunday was a busy day for the Columbus Fire Department. It responded to six calls in one day.

The first call came at 2:20 p.m. when CFD was paged out for a possible structure fire in town. When firefighters arrived at the scene it turned out to be just a grass fire and the truck returned to the station when they were paged out just eight minutes later to a grass/structure fire at Southwest 30th and Lostine Road.

Firefighters arrived to find a house owned by Jim and Ruth Hale on fire after a pasture fire had crossed the road south of the house.

CFD Captain and Lead Driver Steven Burton said a neighbor was burning a pasture when the fire jumped the road. He said the neighbor was monitoring the fire but was on the other side of it, assuming the fire would not cross the road.

Burton said the house is still standing but is a total loss.

Burton said 11 firefighters from Columbus and four from Baxter Springs were on-scene for roughly three hours.

As they were on the way to that fire, another call came in at 2:35 of another grass fire which had made it‘s way to a car. Then just 15 minutes later at 2:50 p.m. firefighters were paged out for another grass fire.

At 8:55 p.m. Sunday night another grass fire had firefighters scrambling and at midnight they were called out for a tree fire.

“It all boils down to stay with it (if you‘re burning),” Burton said, adding people should always call the fire department before starting a controlled burn.

In at least three of the cases, Burton said residents simply waited too long to call the fire department.

“The problem with three of these is they waited too long to call for help trying to fight it themselves,” he said. “If they get nervous about one of their controlled burns call us.”