Man charged after brush fire near Chesterfield neighborhood

Posted at 6:38 AM, Nov 12, 2013

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- A Chesterfield homeowner will be charged after investigators said he improperly disposed of ashes near combustible materials.

A motorist passing by just before 5 a.m. Tuesday spotted the flames and was able to alert the two homeowners living next to where the fire started.

As for the homeowner who was not charged, he told CBS 6 Reporter Jerrita Patterson the flames came within feet of his front door.  He credits the passerby with saving his home by alerting him to the fire.

"Ashes that were dumped in the yard about a week ago have been sitting and smoldering over time."  Chesterfield County Deputy Fire Marshal Charles Knowles said.  "Apparently with the little bit of wind we received over the night, it was enough to cause the ashes to spread to adjoining areas."

Fire crews had to close a portion of the roadway in the 13900 block of Hensley Rd. near Brandygrove Ct., in order to fight the fire.  The road has since reopened.

Neighbors like Nicholas Newcomb, who live two doors away from where the fire ignited said the incident has sparked concern.

"A fire can spread any second," Newcomb said.  "It's pretty scary to think that in a matter of minutes my house could have gone up in flames because of  a brush fire."

Newcomb said he has his own defense tactics to prevent another similar situation from happening again.

"Don't walk away," Newcomb said.  "If you think there's still a fire, just don't walk away.  Stay there and get it all out."

The fire damaged two storage sheds that contained a lawnmower and weed eaters.  Fortunately there were no injuries reported.

Brush fire Chesterfield