2017-07-13 / Front Page

Holiday sparks two fires for Grand Blanc Township

By Paula K. Schmidt
810-452-2647 • pschmidt@mihomepaper.com

GRAND BLANC TWP. – A local man looking to remove insects from his garage is probably regretting his decision to use a holiday firework smoke bomb to do so, after burning his garage to the ground.

It’s unknown if the bees in question were honey bees or wasps, but according to Fire Chief Bob Burdette, the problem with fireworks, is they contain sulfur, which burns very hot and can burn for a long time.

This is probably the reason, he and the department also responded to a separate fire incident on McWain Road on July 4th at 11:50 p.m. In that case, Burdette stated, used and burned-out fireworks were placed in a Unlike typical flammable material, fireworks cannot be extinguished by water, but it will prevent them from re-igniting.

Burdette stated already spent fireworks should not be placed into a flammable container, but preferably a metal trash can or bucket for at least 48 hours, and stored at least 15-20 feet away from a home or other structure. Fireworks sometimes don’t completely burn through which was the case in the McWain Rd. blaze.

The other fire occurred on Grove Ave., July 3rd, just west of the intersection at Hill and Porter Roads in the township. Smoke could be seen for miles and the fire burned very hot according to Burdette, which provided a small challenge due to its intensity.

The call went out at 7:01 p.m., and the unattached garage was only about 20 feet from the house which was a concern. A neighbor also had a word pile in fairly close proximity and used a garden hose to protect his property from flying embers.

Burdette stated his crew set up a protection line first; which keeps radiant heat from the garage fire off the house. The department latter issued a statement asking residents to use fireworks with caution and responsibility. It added that all types of fireworks should be ignited at least 25 feet from any combustible structure. After use, they should be thoroughly soaked with water and kept away from any combustible materials.

Atlas Township Fire Department responded for mutual aid in both cases.

Residents with concerns about honey bees may be able to find help with removal from a local bee keeper. Other types of insects such as wasps and yellow jackets are best referred to a pest control professional.

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