'Controlled burn' or illegal fire?

Cary Ashby • Aug 9, 2019 at 7:00 PM

A Norwalk man learned it is illegal to burn his outbuilding, even though he notified dispatchers it was a controlled burn.

“He intentionally set it; he thought it was entirely legal,” said Norwalk Fire Capt. Rick Perry, who noted the man wanted to get rid of the structure. “It’s illegal to burn down any building.”

Eight firefighters in three trucks arrived at 5048 Ohio 601 at 8:08 p.m. Wednesday, 11 minutes after being called to the scene. The crew cleared the area at 8:57.

“It looked like it started in the northwest corner,” Perry said.

The burned building was 15 feet by 30 feet. No damage estimate was available at press time.

“He basically called it into a dispatch center and notified them it was a controlled burn,” Perry said.

The Huron County Sheriff’s Office also was at the scene. Chief Deputy Dave Ditz, citing the report, said the man reportedly was told by the Milan Township Volunteer Fire Department it was OK to burn the outbuilding.

“We are still looking into the matter,” Ditz said.

Fire Chief Brian Rospert couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday.

“He thought it was legal to burn it down,” Perry said, referring to the homeowner. “From what I understand, there was a communication gap; that’s what we’re trying to find out.”

Authorities are compiling more details as part of the ongoing investigation.

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