CFD clears rumors of fire location



Canton Fire Department responded to a call at 5:57 p.m. Wednesday, May 9 at 25154 E. Hwy. 64 which is at the intersection of Highways 64 and 17 to extinguish a fire that engulfed five storage sheds. While speculation immediately arose that The Mountain was on fire yet again, Captain Brian Horton with the CFD laid rumors to rest regarding the location of the fire and said the fire’s location was “not on The Mountain.”

“The Mountain was never on fire despite claims by some that it was. The property that was on fire is not within the city limits. The property is in the department’s Extra Territorial Jurisdiction,” said Capt. Horton.

Capt. Horton said the CFD covers the ETJ with emergency services such as fire or EMS, but that city ordinances and fire codes do not apply to properties that are in the county.  

“We cannot impose our city ordinances within that ETJ. That’s why I could not require that property owner to pull a burn permit. There was no burn ban in effect and the property was outside the city limits,” said Capt. Horton.

Capt. Horton said various fire departments responded to the call and it took approximately 45 minutes before the fire was under control.

“The Canton Fire Department was dispatched at 5:57 p.m. and we arrived on scene within minutes. The first routing units found five outbuildings that were on fire. Within these building was a collection of storage items from cardboard boxes, tools and straight storage stuff that had been collected over the years. There was a bamboo thicket on fire that made it look a lot worse than it was. Canton FD had several units on scene, as well as South Van Zandt FD, Whitton FD and Canton Police Department helped with traffic control.”

Capt. Horton also said that there were no injuries and that no other property owners suffered any damage.

“We do not think there was any intent by any parties involved. No other property owners suffered any property loss or damage. It was all contained within that property. The Mountain was never on fire in this incident.”

Capt. Horton said he was aware that the property owners had been trying to clean the property up for the last several years and said that the fire got out of control.

“It is unfortunate that it got out of control. It does happen with controlled burns. There is a difference between a controlled burn and a prescribed burn. For a controlled burn, they were taking care of it and had it cordoned off. In a prescribed burn, a fire department is on scene. From a city’s standpoint, they were within their rights. I just want to stress we cannot impose city ordinances on properties in the county.”

Captain Horton also stressed that misinformation can sometimes cause more harm than anything.

“There was a bunch of misinformation and everyone wants to be the first one to have the story. Media or news sources, they want to be the first one to post something and it isn’t right. They are doing more damage to the people who aren’t affected more than anything.  Things aren’t always perfect or go as planned. If we mess up, we will be the first to own it. I don’t want the people on The Mountain to suffer from bad publicity. These people were honestly trying to clean up their property. I have been watching the progress. It was an unfortunate accident.”