Metal stealing thieves cause fire - Firefighters prevent a potential catastrophe

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Gerald, Mo. - Gerald/Rosebud and Beaufort/Leslie Firefighters prevented what could have been a catastrophic brush fire from spreading through a thick wooded area.

Around 3 p.m. this afternoon, both departments responded to an old metal junkyard, located at the intersection of Highway C and Old Highway 50 in Franklin County, Mo.

Gerald/Rosebud Fire Chief Gary Smith said, “We received a report of a structure fire but it was actually a dump fire.”  Smith said there have been issues with people stealing metal at night.

Smith said, “What they have been doing is burning off some of the brush to expose the metal and then come back later in the night to try and steal the metal.”

Smith gave credit to firefighters for being able to get a brush truck in the junkyard and quickly get water on the spreading fire.  Hidden in the wooded area were several old barns as well.

There were no reports of any injuries.