Easter Sunday brushfire in Southampton ruled accidental in nature by investigators

  • The Southampton Fire Department responds to a structure fire Dec. 16, 2016 at 15 East Street. FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Friday, April 21, 2017

SOUTHAMPTON — The cause of a brush fire that consumed more than 12 acres in Southampton on Easter Sunday has been ruled accidental, said Fire Chief John C. Workman.

Investigators pinpointed an old railroad bed as the origin of the fire, which burned off Brickyard Road between Gilbert and Valley roads, Workman said.

But investigators were unable to locate anything that ignited the fire, such as an improperly disposed cigarette or matches. 

“There was no evidence of any kind,” Workman said.

Brush fires remain a potential danger this spring, even with Friday’s wet weather, though Workman said the grass and underbrush is beginning to green. 

His department determines on a day-to-day basis whether to allow residents to burn on their properties.

“When we are allowing burning we’re reminding everyone to use extreme caution,” Workman said.

A brush fire in Hatfield on April 10, which consumed 4 acres, began after a permitted burn rekindled three days later, and a Monday afternoon fire in Hatfield on Dwight Street began when a man was burning wood without a permit, and several trees in a swamp on his property caught fire.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.