Vehicle Burns After Grass Fire Escalates

Warsaw-Wayne Fire Department responded to a grass fire at Mike Gill Auto and Truck Parts, 1806 W. Winona Ave., Friday afternoon. 
Manager Kevin Beard said he was cutting a part for a customer and he was using a cutting torch. The grass caught on fire and the wind made it escalate.
“It could have been worse,” Beard said. “I’d rather it not happen.”
Beard estimated 15 to 30 semi cabs were lost. He said the cabs were from older semis from the 1980s and ’90s. 
According to Mike Brubaker, Warsaw-Wayne Township fire chief, 911 received the phone call regarding the fire at 3:49 p.m. Friday. Warsaw-Wayne Township Fire Department was first on scene, and Winona Lake Fire Department also responded. Claypool and Pierceton fire departments were on standby and covered other calls. Estimated damage is unknown, Brubaker said.
Employee Jeramy Epplemann was moving cabs during the time of the fire. He said they have experienced smaller grass fires, but “this was the first big one we’ve had.” There were no injuries reported.
Owner Rita Lewis said the dry conditions did not help with the fire.
“If nobody is hurt, then nothing is lost,” Lewis said.

(Story By The Times Union)