North Lincoln Fire Rescue got a call early Sunday afternoon that flames were starting to show on a roof fire at a three story home in the 14-hundred block of East Devils Lake Road.
Fire fighters pulled up to see smoke emanating from a wide area of the roof. Once on top, fire fighters found that small fires were scattered about, working their way outward. Fire crews doused the roof fires on top and back tracked them down the sides of the wood stove pipe.
After they finally got all the little fires out they conferred with the homeowners who said they knew nothing about the fires until some friends pulled up the driveway and saw the roof on fire.
Firefighters learned from the owner that they had burned some cereal boxes in the wood stove at about the time the fires would have started. That clinched it for the fire fighters. They say flaming fragments of cereal boxes made their way up the flue and were spewed out the top. The flaming fragments settled on the cedar wood shakes which are covered with very dry moss, pine needles and tree leaves. It wasn’t long before those elements all combined to start a healthy roof fire that started burning its way downward into the house. Fortunately the fire department got there in time to stop it before it spread very far.
Fire fighters say this is the time of year for roof fires. It’s been a long, relatively warm and dry summer. There are outdoor burn restrictions everywhere. The woods are dry and so are rooftops. They say if there are burning restrictions in effect, as there are now, DO NOT use your wood stoves as a source of heat in your house. Escaping sparks can fall on dry surfaces and start a big fire real quick. They say we should refrain from wood stove use until after our first good winter rain and outdoor burning restrictions are lifted.