Rural demolition fire investigated
Who, if anyone, gave permission for a fire Friday on 330th Rd. between Bison and Chisholm Trail Rds. is being investigated.
The fire, reported by a Marion County firefighter, was at an old house that property owner Doyle Wiebe had bulldozed into the basement and ignited.
Sheriff Jeff Soyez said flames were six feet higher than the eight-foot-deep basement.
Rubble burned so hot it ignited brush piles near the house.
Fire department response was disorganized. Although the address is in Marion County, it is in Roxbury fire department’s jurisdiction.
Roxbury firefighters declined to respond.
Dispatchers called Durham firefighters.
When Roxbury firefighters heard that Durham fire department was responding, they decided to go instead and canceled the call to Durham.
But when Roxbury firefighters arrived, they ended up calling for Durham firefighters to assist.
Because Durham firefighters were slow to respond, additional firefighters from Tampa were called.
Firefighters filled the house basement with water.
Soyez said something was off in what Wiebe said.
“He said he had permission from a Roxbury fireman, but of course, he didn’t want to say who it was,” Soyez said.
Controlled burns in Marion County must be reported to dispatchers, Soyez said.
Permission to burn a building must be given by the state Department of Health and Environment.
Soyez said he wanted to know who, if anyone, gave Wiebe permission to burn the old house.
“We have a detective looking at it now,” he said.
If investigators learn the Roxbury fire chief gave Wiebe permission to burn, Soyez will be having a talk with him.
Last modified May 5, 2022