Skiatook Fire Rekindles, Burns Several Acres

Wednesday, April 9th 2014, 11:19 pm
By: Tess Maune

Firefighters said a fire from four days ago is to blame, after a grass fire caused some tense moments as it quickly burned toward several Green Country homes. Firefighters said the strong winds got underneath a brush pile and kicked out some embers hidden inside, sparking the fire.

The smoke was just beginning to settle, as an understanding Gene Kilpatrick looked out over the property he's called home for nearly 40 years.

"It was accident," Kilpatrick said. "We've been pretty much working on it ever since, more or less, taking care of the place."

About 11 acres backing up to Kilpatrick's country home burned. It's not his first close call with a grass fire, but it is the first the time he's gotten an apology from the person who's responsible.

"My neighbor, my new neighbor, and apologized for the inconvenience, that was good," said Kilpatrick.

Kilpatrick's neighbor moved in down the hill just a few months ago. The neighbor didn't want to talk on camera, but said he burned a pile of brush on Friday.

He said it didn't appear to be smoldering for the past few days, and from the looks of it, the fire was out. But when he got home from work Wednesday, he found the flames quickly spreading.

The neighbor said he did everything he could to stop the fire from spreading, but the wind was too much, so he called 911.

"The fire guys came out here from Skiatook, and they are good. We really depend on them and they produce," Kilpatrick said.

And while the man down the hill joked he wouldn't be winning any neighbor of the year awards, Kilpatrick said he's happy to have him next door.

"Burned a little grass, didn't hurt anything," said Kilpatrick. "He's gonna be a good neighbor."

Firefighters fought the flames for hours. There were a number of homes and barns in the area, but fortunately no damages to any of them.