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Furnace sparks grass fire

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An Ontario man has been fined $150, and ordered to pay $2,500 towards fire suppression costs, after his wood-burning furnace sparked a grass fire.

Dean Kellar of Dance Township pleaded guilty to using a wood-burning furnace outdoors during a restricted fire zone when conditions were not safe to operate.

Court heard that on April 13, Kellar was working in his garage when he noticed the shed containing his wood-burning furnace had caught fire.

The flames were spreading to surrounding grass and structures.

A neighbour reported the fire to the Ministry of Natural Resources district office in Fort Frances.

Ministry fire crews were dispatched and able to control the blaze before it reached any homes.

The only building lost to the fire was the one nearest the wood-burning furnace.

A MNR conservation officer at the scene determined the wood-burning furnace was the cause of the fire.

It also was within five metres of a forested area and within two metres of flammable materials.

The furnace did not have a spark arrestor.

Justice of the Peace Pat Clysdale-Cornell heard the case Aug. 13 in Fort Frances.

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