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November 3, 2012
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First responders tame blaze near Famers Korner

FARMER'S KORNER - An unattended fire erupted on East Lake View Circle near Farmer's Korner at approximately 1:15 p.m. Saturday with flames reaching 20 feet high, according to first responders.The fire was started by Steven Christiansen, an independent contractor that was getting rid of trash and debris from a foreclosed home. Christiansen was burning trash and scraps in the backyard, according to Lt. Kevin Skaer, of Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue.For scrap burning of this nature, two permits are required by state and local municipalities, according to Keith McMillan, engine boss with Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue.The Summit County Sheriff's Office cited Christiansen with a 4th degree arson charge, a misdemeanor, according to Sgt. Scott Wagner.Christian said he went down to the gas station for coffee and came back to flames that had gotten out of control."I don't know how the fire left the pit," he said. "There was no fire trail from the fire pit to where the fire got out of control on the fence."Christiansen alleges while he was away getting coffee, someone else was on his property."I am missing construction pump jacks," he said. "My neighbor saw someone on the property while I was away."Currently no police report has been filed, though Christiansen says he is in the process of getting the neighbor to write a statement.Luckily though, for everyone involved, the fire was contained and there were no injuries or fatalities."It could have been a bad situation, we're glad that there were first responders to the fire that were able to get it mostly contained," McMillan said.Sebastian Niemkiewic was the first responder to the scene."I noticed black smoke next to the gas station and realized it was very close to houses, and the flames were pretty high at that moment," he said. "When I called dispatch and gave them the address, they told me it was a control burn - I said 'no way, this fire is getting out of control and the fence is burning.'" Tim Kunz, an employee for Wieronski Plumbing & Heating, was driving by when he noticed black smoke in close proximity to a neighborhood, he pulled over and aided Niemskiewicz with taming the blaze. The pair used hoses from neighboring homes and a fire extinguisher to get the fire under control."Sebastian and I put that sucker out," Kunz said. "When we first got to the scene the flames were easily 20 feet high and after we put a little water and used the extinguishers, they were down to about 8 feet tall, at about the fence line."Lake Dillon Fire and Red, White and Blue Fire responded to the blaze along side the Summit County Sheriff's Office at 1:26 after a call was put into dispatch. The fire was 100 percent contained by 1:40 p.m.


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The Summit Daily Updated Nov 3, 2012 11:58PM Published Nov 3, 2012 05:07PM Copyright 2012 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.