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Smoldering embers being blamed for large fire

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LAWTON, Okla._Firefighters said the combination of wind and ashes from a fire place are to blame for a grassfire in rural northeast Comanche County.

Black smoke filled the air when the flames made its way to a boat, canoes, and a storage shed full of the home owner's memorabilia. The fire burned close to five acres before it was contained.

The homeowner says the boat, the canoes, and a couple lawn mowers are all but beyond repair, but he says what he will miss the most is the memorabilia in the shed, which included multiple Boy Scout merit books he's collected over the years as a Boy Scout leader. Fire officials say the loss could have been much greater.

From miles away you could see the black smoke billowing from the fire. Cox's Store Fire Chief, Jody Dreves, said it didn't take much to get this fire going.

"Once it started flaming, it just spread. The way the winds are today with the shorter grass it does move a little slower, and therefore it's going to help us in putting itself out," said Chief Dreves.

The fire chief said this time of the year the weather fluctuates from warm to cold frequently so threats of fire place ashes are higher.

"Rather than heating up their house any other way they're going to do it in their fire place, and just keep it warm for that time being. Then they are going to clean out their fire place and they got to do something with those ashes, said Dreves.

Dreves talked to the homeowner and said he was confused to how it even started but more worried about what he had lost.

"When there is fire in your backyard and it is getting close to your structure you're naturally going to be a bit upset about it. He's still trying to come to grips of it all and deal with what's happened," said Dreves.

Firefighters headed off the fire and prevented the threat of burning down nearby homes from happening. Firefighters will remain on scene until they're sure hot spots won't rekindle. 

The homeowner said there is a silver lining, he's been working on cleaning up the area and the fire has taken care of most of that work.

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