Two buildings and 40 acres of grassland went up in flames Saturday around 2 p.m. about five miles north of Emo in Chapple township after a family bonfire got out of control.
Chapple Fire Chief Larry Hunsperger said the family was having a wiener roast between a house and a house-trailer when the fire got away from them.
The family contacted the Emo Fire Department, not realizing they were in Chapple’s jurisdiction. Emo then called in Chapple and both teams went out to the site.
But by the time firefighters arrived, Hunsperger said there wasn’t really anything left to put out. Everything had already burned, he noted.
"When we left, they were moving across the road where there was a shell of a home they built up," Hunsperger said.
No injuries were reported.
With the lower-than-normal moisture levels in the district this spring, Hunsperger is urging people to use extreme caution when lighting a fire of any kind.
Have enough people around to make sure the fire stays manageable, he stressed, adding the fire department even will provide firefighting equipment to help people do controlled burns.
"It’s getting pretty dry out there," Hunsperger said. "Be careful."