‘It was coming into town’: City of Carpio works together to save community from grass fire

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A grass fire that threatened the City of Carpio earlier Friday has since been put out.

Below we explain the aftermath, and the all hands-on approach to help save the community.

“They said a small fire, but obviously when it’s 25 mph winds and we’re in a red flag it’s not going to be small for long,” said Karter Lesmann, the Burlington Fire Chief.

Lesmann and his crew were called out to assist the Carpio Fire Department with the blaze around 2 Friday afternoon.

“They were on one side of the fire, we were on the other. We were in contact via phone and they said that there was no way they were going to be able to stop it here. It was coming into town,” Lesmann said.

They were forced to think fast…

“So I made the call to do an evacuation. Do a reverse 911 and it was approaching very quickly. We were still maybe a half a mile from town at that time,” he said.

Law enforcement agencies, EMTs and other surrounding fire departments pitched in to help.

Everyone in town made it out safely and no structures were affected.

One Carpio resident recounts every minute.

“I had just got home from work and I just hear banging on the door and my girlfriend and my mom come in to wake me up and as they’re waking me up I kind of laugh because I’m not knowing what’s going on,” Timothy Metcalf.

But Metcalf says he soon realized his apartment was one of the first buildings in the path of the fire.

“The fires were like on the other side of the baseball field basically. Like the smoke was just all the way in the air. You could not see past it from where I was,” he said.

Lesmann says around 100 acres were burned, and the cause is unknown.

“It appears to have started by a powerline but I can’t confirm that for sure, obviously, I don’t work for the power company,” Lesmann said.

But what he does know is that the all hands on deck approach helped save the community of Carpio.

“Everything came together very quickly and it’s good to know that everybody can work together,” he said.

“Everybody that was a part of the mission today did a great job at what they did,” Metcalf said.

Although the fire is out, Burlington and Carpio Fire Departments will continue to manage the fire zone to check for hot spots throughout the night and into Saturday.

Carpio residents were able to return back to their homes safely around 5 p.m.

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