Lawrence neighborhoods evacuated because of grass fire - KCTV5 News

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Lawrence neighborhoods evacuated because of grass fire

Posted: Updated:
Photo Courtesy: KCTV5's Alan Shope Photo Courtesy: KCTV5's Alan Shope
Photo Courtesy: KCTV5's Alan Shope Photo Courtesy: KCTV5's Alan Shope
Photo Courtesy: Wilson Hack Photo Courtesy: Wilson Hack
LAWRENCE, KS (KCTV) -

Residents living in southwest Lawrence woke up to a scary scene Thursday morning, as a huge grass fire got out of control just feet from their homes.

The edge of the fire came as close as 25 feet behind one house.

Wilson Hack up woke to a terrifying site Thursday morning.

"My mom was screaming at me to get out of the house because there was a fire," Hack said.

When he looked out the window, he saw smoke and flames everywhere.

"I looked out the back windows and there was just huge clouds of smoke probably 100 feet high, flames everywhere," Hack said.

The story was the same for Rustin Schemm. When he saw the huge flames creeping from behind the neighbors' home, he sprung into action.

"We went across the street and tried to water down everyone's house, then when they told us to come back across the street, we started watering down all our houses," Shemm said.

The Douglas County Fire Department said they had to evacuate five homes along Palisades Drive and recommended evacuations for anyone living on Andrew John, Blue Nile, Diamondhead and Coving Drives. The fire also burned near Langston Hughes Elementary School.

Witnesses said the flames seemed to wave 50 feet in the air.

The fire department said battling the wind was the biggest issue.

"As the wind began to pick up, the flames began to lick over the dry areas so fortunately not a lot of the homeowners were home," Douglass County Fire PIO Eve Tollfree said.

Neighbors are thankful the fire department worked so quickly to put the fire out.

"We're extremely blessed and thankful. They did a great job and kept the fires from the houses," Michelle Hack said. "You hear about it, you read about it, and you don't realize ‘til it happens to you that you kinda have to move fast."

Amazingly, no homes were affected by the grass fire. The only injuries sustained were heat exhaustion for a couple of firemen.

The Douglas County Fire Department said the fire was started by dry conditions and overheated power lines.

Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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