Fire destroys St. Joseph County home


Monday's warm and breezy weather sure felt nice, but it made for dangerous conditions in some neighborhoods.

One after the other, firefighters bounced from brush fire to brush fire.

They say that even with the recent snow melt, dead vegetation is extremely dry and can burn very quickly, especially when it's windy.

One of those leaf fires spared Makeda Grier's home on Sundown Drive and devoured an empty house next door.

"The fire just swept all the way across and there were little bundles of leaves that I had to get out with a rake myself," she said in her backyard, which was charred.

CLICK HERE for fire photos.

"When I walked back here I noticed our lawn chairs were crisped, the garden was crisped, about 85% of our backyard had caught fire at some point," Grier said.

The fire, which firefighters believe started when a neighbor's leaf burn got out of control, destroyed the empty house. No one was hurt.

As yards dry out and the temperature rises, firefighters are expecting more calls like this one, bcause despite peoples' best efforts last fall, acres of leaves didn't get picked up, and there's still plenty of fuel to burn.

"I feel like god protected us," Grier said.

Often people will think they've extinguished their leaf burning piles, firefighters said, but there are still some embers in there and when the wind picks up it can really get those flames going again.

Also, a reminder to anyone within South Bend city limits, leaf burning is not allowed.

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