Accidental brush fire damages playing fields in Topsfield

·1 min read

Aug. 4—TOPSFIELD — A family launching model rockets accidentally touched off a brush fire that destroyed approximately 2 acres of grass, including several playing fields, at Pye Brook Park Wednesday afternoon, officials said.

A man who was with his family called 911 shortly before 1 p.m. to report the fire.

While the town's on-duty firefighters were responding to a medical call, other firefighters, both full-time and call, went to the scene.

Officials said the size of the fire and the warm temperatures meant that crews had to be rotated through more frequently. Boxford firefighters provided assistance at the scene and brought a tanker full of water to assist because the park is in an area without a water line.

Mutual aid was also provided by crews from Middleton, Hamilton and Wenham, which covered other calls in town.

Firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading to several buildings at the park.

While the fire was accidental, officials caution that in severe drought conditions, even seemingly benign activities like setting off rockets, smoking, or cookouts and campfire can quickly turn dangerous.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis