Polk Co. home damaged by backyard fire

Man didn't know burn ban was in effect
Posted at 11:14 PM, Apr 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-17 23:14:41-04

Authorities said a man, trying to burn trash in his backyard, started a brush fire in a county under a burn ban.

The Florida Forest Service is investigating the fire. It started Monday afternoon along Marty Lane in Bartow. The fire ruined two sheds and a travel trailer.

Authorities said the man told them he forgot they were under a burn ban, but his wife said he has Alzheimer's and does not remember starting the fire. She added that he did not know the county is under a burn ban.

Polk County has been under a burn ban since early April when brush fires threatened homes and forced people to evacuate.

"I was doing some irrigation work. She had called me and told me there was a fire over here. (She) wanted me to get over here as fast as I could," William Spradley said.

Spradley is a neighbor. He tried to help.

"I know the guy. He’s always staying on top of that. He’s always watching it and uh I don’t know what happened this time. It just got away or something," Spradley said.

According to authorities, if someone violates the burn ban, they could be fined or face jail time or both.