A brush fire singed an outbuilding near Avilla Saturday, in one of three grass fires reported to the Noble County Sheriff's Department over the weekend.
A controlled burn is believed to have started the blaze, which broke out near 8340 E SR 8 at about 6:48 p.m. Flames spread over a grassy area on the south side of the highway, burning up to an old outbuilding that was not far from a larger barn on the property. The outbuilding actually caught on fire, leaving the side charred, but firefighters were able to contain the blaze before the wooden structure went up and spread the fire further.
No one was injured in the fire, which took firefighters from Avilla and Kendallville about 25 minutes to bring under control. An Albion brush truck was called to the scene, but wasn't needed.
Avilla fire trucks also responded Friday afternoon to a fire that burned an area of grass on Lemper Road, near Avilla. A similar fire broke out along Lakeshore Drive near Big Lake about half an hour later, and was put out by Noble Township firefighters.
In addition, Noble Township firefighters assisted with a utility pole fire that dropped a live power line on the road near 3784 W 300 S Saturday evening.
Fire last week destroyed a storage shed near Chain O' Lakes state Park.
The wooden structure was already in flames when a resident of 0590 S 75 E noticed it burning at about 3:15 a.m. Wednesday, March 16, according to the Noble County Sheriff's Department. The cause of the blaze was undetermined, and remains under investigation. No injuries were reported.
The shed reportedly contained power tools such as a lawn mower and similar equipment, along with some fuel. By the time a Sheriff's Deputy arrived minutes after 911 was called, the building was engulfed in flames and falling in on itself; it and the contents were totally destroyed.
Six Albion and Noble Township fire units responded, returning to base at 4:27 a.m.
Sheriff's Department dispatchers also received two reports of grass fires last week, marking the unofficial start of spring wildland fire season in Indiana. In addition, Ligonier firefighters were called out Thursday when a resident near the city set a burn barrel fire despite high winds, leading witnesses to dial 911 when sparks and smoke started swirling around a mobile home.
Residents are asked to use extreme caution when burning, especially on breezy days. Before it greens up later in the spring, area foliage dries out quickly and can be extremely flammable.