Reno fire crews keep busy on holiday as structures burn across county

By Ryan Christner
Hutchinson News – July 5, 2017

Sylvia Fire. Photo by Jennifer Ladd

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Fire crews throughout Reno County responded to at least three structure fires that erupted on the Fourth of July holiday.

The first occurred around 12:30 p.m. in Sylvia, where an abandoned house at 120 W. Ave. C ignited due to the “careless discharge of fireworks,” according to an official responding through the Facebook page for Reno County Fire District No. 6.

The home was completely destroyed, but responding crews from three districts were able to contain the blaze quickly and prevented it from spreading to other properties.

Reno County Sheriff’s Office records show Keith Blaske, 40, listed as the owner of the residence, was charged with disobeying the county firework resolution.

A second started just before 4 p.m. in a garage at 405 N. Peabody St. in Nickerson. No other information was immediately available about the nature or severity of the fire.

The third was reported at about 6:45 p.m. at 5000 Nickerson Blvd. Fire crews from Reno County Fire District No. 3 out of Nickerson initially were dispatched to the scene but later requested assistance from units in Hutchinson, South Hutchinson and Buhler.

Reno County Sheriff Randy Henderson said firefighters had trouble getting close to the home due to a broken down truck in the driveway, which had to be pulled away with a chain. Low-hanging trees and pot holes in the drive also hindered fire vehicles’ progress, he said.

The sole occupant of the property, identified as 64-year-old Kerry Getz, was removed to a safe distance by people who spotted the fire while driving prior to the arrival of emergency responders. After an investigation and interview with the resident, who Henderson said appeared intoxicated and smelled of gasoline, Getz was arrested for one count of arson.

Firefighters controlled the blaze in under three hours, although Henderson said crews would likely be on site for several hours to tamp down flare ups and clean up the area.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

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