Woman Warns of Fire Danger After Close Call

SPRINGFIELD(KPTM)-Marcy Stern says her home came within ten feet of catching fire, after a grass fire surrounded her house, burning brush and trees. "I looked out the door and it was moving fast, flames were four feet tall and the smoke was incredible," recalled Stern of the fire that surrounded her home Sunday afternoon.

Charred ground shows just how close the flames got. Firefighters say the fire started when embers from a neighbor's trash fire were whipped up by the wind and puts into focus what can happen when you combine dry brush, grass, high wind and fire. "In conditions like today, even the littlest thing like flicking a cigarette butt out of a window, as dry as it is," said Jason Lutz of the Springfield Volunteer Fire Department.

While Stern's damage was limited to grass and trees, firefighters say it could have been much worse. "I've seen it where the fire will run faster than we can," said Lutz. And Stern warns her rural neighbors about what can happen when you live out in the country. " I don't think even the people in rural areas know how fast and how bad this can be because it happens so fast, the fire moved fast," said Stern.