The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Opinion

July 15, 2012

Fire safety

This week, Greenville’s biggest fire of the year came dangerously close to burning homes and businesses in the southern part of our city. Our reporters on the scene said the flames were within just 50 yards of a strip shopping center — not much space at all if the winds were to pick up.

Thankfully, our local firefighters were up to the challenge. Once again, they put their skills, experience and commitment to the test and brought the blaze to a safe conclusion, something that’s been required all too often both this summer and last.

And the worst part? The big fire in Greenville was entirely preventable.

We’re not talking preventable in the Smoky Bear, “everyone can prevent forest fires” kind of way.

No, the fire that could have killed people was apparently started intentionally, it was revealed this week. Investigators found what they describe as an “incendiary device” at the scene, so it looks like someone set the blaze on purpose.

We don’t know whether it was kids playing around or a mentally unstable adult, but what they did was absolutely unconscionable. They quite literally could have killed a person — either someone whose home or business caught fire, or one of the firefighters on the scene — and we hope they’re caught and prosecuted for what they did.

Starting fires isn’t horseplay. It’s not just a prank. We see it almost as an attempted murder because of how dry the conditions are in Hunt County right now, the recent rains notwithstanding.

While it’s good to see so many afternoon and evening showers lately, it’s not good in the sense that some people might be letting their guard down about fire danger. Within the past month, municipal and volunteer firefighters have been busy putting out countless wildfires in the area because there’s so much dry, dead material on the ground that helps small fires grow quickly out of control. Acreage is burned almost every day, and the police scanner stays busy with reports of grass fires large and small.

We hope the recent fires will remind people to do two things.

One, everyone needs to be more careful. The vast majority of fires are started accidentally by things like cigarette butts being flicked out of a car window or small trash fires that aren’t tended carefully. And with the possibility that there’s an arsonist in our midst, we should be extra vigilant and look for anything that looks out of place so that, hopefully, whoever’s responsible for it will be caught.

And two, everyone needs to support our local firefighters. They have some of the most stressful and dangerous jobs in the community, and they’re often either underpaid or working on a volunteer basis.

No one should take their safety for granted. Firefighters play one of the most important role in keeping our lives and property safe, and for that we’re extremely grateful.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • School supplies, football signs of end of summer

    It is not here yet, but there are two landmarks on the horizon which traditionally indicate the end of summer is approaching.

    July 27, 2014

  • This is ... summer?

    Just sitting here, wondering what season this is again ...
    — Seriously, this is summer? In Texas?

    July 20, 2014

  • Why no to YMCA?

    Sometimes the lack of news can be just as disturbing as the daily barrage of bad news.

    July 5, 2014

  • Service members deserve our thanks

    More than two million active and reserve military personnel serve in the United States Military across the world: from just down the road in Fort Worth to the Forward Operating Base Jackson in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan, U.S. men and women endure harsh conditions, potentially fatal missions, rigorous training and heart-aching separation.

    July 5, 2014

  • Texas should not have to face surge alone

    Texas political leaders recently announced an increase in funding and personnel to secure the Texas-Mexico border.

    June 27, 2014

  • Closer to Cliff than Homer on any Father’s Day

    It is Father’s Day, the one day a year when sons and daughters (hopefully) remember to thank Dear Old Dad for all he has meant to them over the years.

    June 15, 2014

  • Lives depend on how we drive

    Local roads and highways have been the scene of six motor vehicle accident fatalities over the past week.

    June 11, 2014

  • Summer’s here, ready or not

    Too late, summer’s here ...
    — The occupants of the Kellar Estate once again find themselves preparing for the annual onslaught of heat and humidity which is summer in Texas.

    June 8, 2014

  • YMCA 'ball' now in city's court

    The YMCA/event center project is now back on track, thanks to a $1 million pledge from L-3 Mission Integration. It has been more than a year since Greenville voters approved a $15 million bond to build to new Y.

    June 1, 2014

  • In just a flash, she's turned 15

    Shaking my head in disbelief once again ...
    Jaylynn is 15.
    Let that sink in for a minute.

    May 25, 2014

Featured Ads
Promotions
Poll

Does Dallas head coach Jason Garrett need for the Cowboys to make the playoffs during the 2014 football season to keep his job?

Yes
No
Who knows with Jerry Jones as owner?
     View Results
Facebook
Must Read
Photos


See more photos and purchase prints here.

AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide