Every fire department in Noble County responded to at least one grass fire over the weekend, with a dozen reported over a two day period.
Most of those fires happened Sunday, as temperatures warmed and ground cover dries out after rains earlier in the week. Numerous columns of smoke became visible across the area as residents burned brush, leaves and fencerows, and inevitable some of those fires flamed out of control.
The Albion Fire Department responded to three ground cover fires, the first Saturday night when a large field fire was reported near county roads 300W and 25N. Noble Township fire trucks also rolled to that blaze, but units arrived to discover it was a controlled burn that had not been reported to the Noble County Sheriff's Department.
Just after 1 p.m. Sunday, Albion and Avilla firefighters battled flames that burned an area of brush and grass along CR 500E, south of Baseline Road. Three four wheel drive brush trucks and several other units were used, taking about 45 minutes to extinguish the fire.
Just a few minutes before that one was reported, Orange Township brush trucks were dispatched to a fire at 2628 E 850 N, and a minute after, the Ligonier Fire Department was called to a grass fire at 6597 N 350 W.
Albion trucks went out again just after 6 p.m., joined by Noble Township Fire units in responding to a grass fire that threatened a building near county roads 75S and 75E. That fire was confined to a small area of grass, fortunately not crossing the road into overgrown set aside land on the north side of Chain O' Lakes State Park. Nine fire units responded, returning to station within about twenty minutes.
Also on Sunday, Avilla firefighters were called to a fire at SR 8 and CR 850 E, LaOtto trucks fought a field fire near 5133 S 1000 E, and the Kendallville Fire Department was called out to a burn north of that city.
The Cromwell Fire Department fought a brush fire at 11:15 a.m. Saturday, near CR 300N and the Kosciusko County line, and LaOtto firefighters spent about fifteen minutes extinguishing a fire that day near 4474 S 700 E.
In addition to those calls, Noble Township firefighters were called to a vehicle fire just before 8 p.m. Saturday, near county roads 700W and 200S, which badly damaged a pickup truck. Several fire departments also made medical assist calls over the weekend.
No injuries were reported in any of those incidents, but a male subject was reportedly burned when the furnace of his Knapp Lake home caught fire or exploded at about 7:15 p.m. Saturday. The Cromwell and Noble Township fire departments, along with the Noble County EMS, responded to that incident, which damaged an April Drive home.