AUBURN — Firefighters quickly knocked down a debris fire that began to burn out of control at Libro Farm at 224 South Witham Road shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Fire Battalion Chief Dean Milligan said property owner William Skelton had an ongoing burn permit for the remains of a former building that had been torn down. As the fire was being tended, an ember blew to the back of a nearby outbuilding used for storage, and the siding caught fire. A family friend tending the fire called 911 and had sprayed two fire extinguishers on the blaze by the time firefighters arrived, Milligan said,

“He really saved the building, not us,” Milligan said.

The building debris had been OK’d for burning by the city’s fire prevention officer, who had inspected the site earlier.

“They weren’t doing anything wrong,” Milligan said. “They were doing it as prescribed by their permit.”

The blaze was quickly extinguished by local firefighters, who soaked the back of the storage building as well as the pile of debris.

The family friend pushed the smoldering debris around with a backhoe so firefighters could spray embers trapped beneath the pile.    

Milligan said the storage building likely will be torn down.


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