Good Samaritan Prevents Grass Fire From Spreading With Skidsteer
SAN ANGELO, TEXAS -- Around 1 p.m. this afternoon, the San Angelo Fire Department was dispatched to a grass fire in a field between W 11th Street and W 14th Street.
Firefighters battled the fire with water cannons and fire hoses. A LIVE! reporter on scene has confirmed that the fire has been contained and extinguished.
The fire marshal has responded to the scene to investigate.
LIVE! will provide an update when more details become available.
UPDATE: 2:20 p.m.
SAN ANGELO, TEXAS -- At approximately 1:15 pm., San Angelo Fire Department (SAFD) crews were dispatched to a grass fire at Bryant and 14th street. However, as the first truck responded, the firefighters realized that the fire was actually "off of 14th street," Assistant Fire Chief Tod Sanford explained. The fire was a small grass fire that only burned about an acre worth of land, but because of the abundance of 20 feet high reeds in the area and high winds, the fire posed an imminent threat to the surrounding area.
A row of houses and a huge cell tower were very close by and in direction the fire was moving. A brush truck was asked to respond and as Assistant Fire Chief Sanford assessed the scene, he called for an additional fire truck, the battalion chief, and for a city maintainer.
However, it was thanks to a nearby citizen that an even greater disaster was avoided, recounted Sanford. As the fire was developing, a good Samaritan from a nearby manufacturing company realized what was happening and the danger the growing fire posed. The good Samaritan began moving debris out of the way with his skidsteer as fire trucks began responding to the call. Sanford says the mans actions saved the nearby houses and the cell tower from catching on fire. Sanford praised the good Samaritan, calling him a "great guy" who "really helped us out tremendously."
The good Samaritan goes by the name of Dan Holguin. In a separate interview with Holguin, he explained that he was on his way back to Wendland Manufacturing Corporation from lunch when he saw smoke coming from the field. "I told my guys, and we went out and looked, and it was kind of burning towards the houses and I told them ... to get the water tank full and get ready just in case, [as] the [fire] looked like it was moving pretty quickly," he said. As his co-workers were getting the water tank ready, Holguin jumped in his skidsteer and started to push the brush down to keep the fire from going any further. As the firefighters approached the scene, Holguin said that they asked him to push a couple of other spots down, "so I did; It was pretty cool!" he added.
Currently three crews are still on scene. They will continue to stay on scene for a while as the reeds are still smoldering and there are still hot spots in the area. At this time, Fire Marshal Kimberly Ingram has said that she is "probably not going to continue to investigate" the area unless she receives a tip. Ingram did add that there was evidence pointing towards someone camping in the field, but at this time, there is not enough evidence to determine if the camp site was the reason for the fire.
Ingram also praised Holguin for his action, "the gentleman over across the way was out there with his skidsteer and was able to prevent the fire from spreading , and that was very helpful."
"[The firefighters] work hard and get out there all the time, we just didn't want anything to happen to the neighbors across the street from us and of course our shop too. We do what we can around here to try to help out," Holguin added, "It was all dead underneath so it was burning pretty quick."