With wind-whipped flames just over the horizon of their home on E. Cloud Street, Casey McCoy told his wife Melissa it was time to get their two boys to safety.
Melissa McCoy is the Public Information Officer for Saline County and had a front row seat for Thursday night’s fire that burned up about 300 acres east of Salina.
The Saline County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the fire as a criminal case after a firework was found in the area of Magnolia and Simpson Roads.
Captain Jim Hughes tells KSAL News that a witness saw a car in that area and told dispatch that someone threw a firework out the window. Investigators found the remains of a spent firework in the area.
Spent firework found at the scene.
The fire broke out around 7:45pm Thursday evening and the strong winds pushed the flames to the northeast towards Cloud Street. By 9pm the fire was under control as crews from Rural Fire Districts 5, 1, 2 and 7 responded in kind to fight the flames. Hughes reports that no substantial property was lost but brush, tress and fence line were consumed. There were no injuries.
With a wall of fire rolling towards her family’s home in the 3900 block of E Cloud Street – McCoy said her thoughts flashed back to a fire that consumed her sister’s rural house two years ago. “She’s still in a process of rebuilding her home just 6-miles east of us,” she said.
“I think I can speak for all our neighbors when I say, we are unendingly grateful to the many (many, many) firefighters who responded to protect our homes. As someone who is currently tired at work from last night’s events, it’s not lost on me that many of the firefighters there were volunteers who are currently exhausted at their day jobs because they responded quickly and didn’t leave until the job was done.”
McCoy met with the media Friday morning to recount how firefighters performed to keep her family and neighbors safe.
McCoy noted that fire crews stayed on hand until about midnight to check for hot spots before heading home.
Dangerous fire conditions exist again Friday, due to gusty south/southwest winds that are expected to shift to the west and rorthwest overnight.
Photos courtesy Melissa McCoy: Saline County