Small Sport Lake fire consumes ATVs

Posted: Wednesday, April 25, 2007

When the fire in his burn barrel escaped to ignite surrounding grass, Sport Lake resident Myron Young thought he could beat it out.

But when the fire reached and set aflame the first of several snowmachines lined up behind his shop, Young called 911.

By the time firefighters with Central Emergency Services arrived at Young’s Moser Road address at about 5:14 p.m. on Monday, many more machines were on fire. Before the fire could be extinguished, Young would lose seven snowmachines, a three-wheeler and a jet ski to the flames.

Tuesday, he learned his insurance didn’t cover the loss.

“A lot of people would be surprised what their homeowners insurance doesn’t cover,” he said late Tuesday. “Nothing to do but haul ‘em to the dump.”

Young said he’d just put the snowmachines in back of his shop and moved his four-wheelers out in front, when the fire broke out. Young figures the burned machines were worth about $30,000 collectively.

“The poor guy was heartbroken,” commented CES Assistant Fire Chief Gordon Orth.

CES firefighters responded as quickly as they could once they’d been alerted to the fire, Orth said. About one-half acre of wildland grass was involved along with the ATVs. The fire was quickly extinguished and no structures were damaged.

Firefighters with the Division of Forestry also responded, but arrived about the time the fire was out, said Patrick Quiner, of the division.

“CES had it declared out. We were there to verify it was out on the wild land,” he said.

Young recommended that other homeowners with recreational ATVs check their insurance policies to make sure they are covered.

Orth also had some advice. He said residents commonly believe that calling the fire department will result in a bill for services, and that causes them to delay. But CES doesn’t charge for services. Taxes cover that.

People often think they can put fires out themsleves, when what they should do is alert CES immediately, Orth said.

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