April 16, 2009
The Williston Fire Department responded to a building fire in South Burlington at 12:21 p.m. on April 8. A multi-story senior housing facility on Hinesburg Road reported a fire after the noon hour. The fire started in an apartment oven and quickly spread to the surrounding cabinets. South Burlington Fire Department requested backup from Williston Fire Department and its Tower 1 truck. The Burlington Fire Department also responded.
Williston firefighter Sean Soper said South Burlington was able to put out the fire by the time Williston arrived. Soper said the fire could have easily spread out of control had it not been for South Burlington’s quick response time. Williston assisted the other fire departments in cleaning up the scene. Six firefighters from Williston responded to the call.
Dry weather increases fire risk
Due to the recent dry weather and windy conditions, the Champlain Valley is experiencing a high fire danger that could last through the weekend.
A dry spring can bring high brush and forest fire dangers once the snow melts and the grass has not turned green, said Soper. On Monday, the National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning, meaning the low humidity levels and high winds would have easily caused a small brush fire to spread quickly.
That’s why Williston Fire Chief Ken Morton has suspended all controlled burns in town until the dry weather ceases. As of press time Wednesday, no brush or forest fires were reported in Williston or its coverage area in Richmond. Soper said parts of the Champlain Valley have experienced brush fires, including a brush fire in Essex on Tuesday.
According to the National Weather Service, the next chance of rain is on Friday night into Saturday and then again on Tuesday.