(UPDATE) Fire in Wooded Area for Shumway Crews Saturday Night, Cause Identified

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Published on November 12 2012 5:29 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Shumway Fire Department responded to a report of a brush fire near 10352 E Fayette Rd, located in rural Effingham, the Eugene Dust residence Saturday night.

Effingham County 911 received a call about 8:30pm from the Dust residence stating they could see a fire near the wood line. The first arriving companies reported several heavily wooded acres involved in fire. A full still alarm was requested through the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) and brought additional apparatus and personnel to the scene from Watson, Effingham, Beecher City Fire Departments & City County Ambulance.

“When we first arrived we were unable to get an initial size up on what we had or how far back the fire had spread due to the thick woods and several steep cliffs, but we did know we were going to need some help. Due to the thick timber we were not able to get any fire apparatus near the fire and had to hike into the woods to extinguish it” said Shumway Chief Joe Kemme.

At 9:23pm Chief Kemme asked for a box alarm through MABAS bringing in additional equipment and manpower to the scene from Altamont and Stewardson. The fire was finally brought under control at 10:03pm. Crews remained on scene for approximately 2 hours walking the woods and checking for hot spots.

“One of the biggest problems we experienced was the fact it was getting dark, the wind had started to pick up, and guys were making several trips in and out of the woods to get more water and tools to put the fire out causing them to get exhausted very quickly,” added Kemme.

UPDATE: Shumway Fire officials have identified the cause of the fire, telling us Tuesday morning that an "insulator" melted off of an overhead power line, fell to the ground below, sparking the blaze. Firefighters estimate at one time there was approximately 40 acres on fire. Sigel, Teutopolis & St. Elmo Fire Department covered Shumway’s station in case there was another call while Shumway Firefighters were busy.

Shumway Fire Officials would like to remind citizens to please report any unattended fires to 911, especially when it may be windy, as fire can spread very quickly with dry conditions during the fall season.