Grill fire damages two homes, fire officials issue outdoor burni - | WBTV Charlotte

Grill fire damages two homes, fire officials issue outdoor burning ban

By Tom Roussey - bio l email

MATTHEWS, NC (WBTV) - A brush fire damaged two homes in Matthews late Monday night and officials are warning people to use extreme caution with outdoor fires due to the dry, windy conditions.

The fires occurred in the Matthews Grove neighborhood located near the intersection of McKee Road and Carrington Forest Lane. 

The Charlotte Fire Department arrived at the fire within three minutes after receiving the call.

Residents living in the two homes damaged say the fire started from a grill that was being used to cook meat.

Anna Petrenko says she had put the grill out, but strong winds must have blown an ember from it onto the grass. 

Within minutes, a large area of grass burned and one side of Petrenko's house as well as the side of her neighbor's house.

"It was quick," Petrenko said.  "It was a couple of seconds, and it was out there in the bushes."

Petrenko says she doesn't plan to grill again until the weather changes.

"I do not recommend grilling at this time," she said.  "Especially, when it's so dry and windy."

Neighbor Zoyla Romo's home bore the brunt of the damage from the fire.  Vinyl siding on her house melted as the fire traveled through the grass from one side to another.

Romo is asking folks to be careful as well.  She credits the quick response by the fire department with saving her home from more serious damage.

"The firefighters came in two minutes, maybe three minutes," Romo said.  "They were so fast."

Firefighters in our region in both North and South Carolina have been kept very busy over the last few days with the dry, windy conditions.  On Sunday alone, there were over 100 fires across North Carolina.

In response to the conditions, the Charlotte Fire Department and the Mecklenburg County Fire Marshal's Office have issued a ban on all outdoor burning including, recreational fires.  They have also canceled all burning permits.  The ban will remain in effect until further notice.

On Tuesday, there will be a little rain in the mountains in the morning, but it will be dry elsewhere across the WBTV coverage area.

WBTV Meteorologist Al Conklin says we will have another breezy and unseasonably warm day Tuesday, but it won't be as breezy or unseasonably warm as it was on Monday.

"The next chance for rain comes late Thursday, then perhaps some thundershowers with our next front on Friday," Conklin said.  "We're in need of rain.  The deficit of the year is 3 inches, it's 9 inches when going back to October 1st of last year."

Here is the forecast for the remainder of the week: 

Tuesday:  Mostly sunny and continued nice and warm, there will still be a bit of a breeze, high near 70.

Tuesday night:  Patchy clouds and noticeably cooler, low 35.

Wednesday:  Mostly sunny and seasonably cool, high 56.

Thursday:  Sunshine gradually gives way to more clouds, there may be a few showers around before the day ends, high 60.

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