Typical Saturday of grilling turned into an out-of-control grass fire for one Sapulpa resident

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Reported by: Price McKeon
Updated: 1/19 11:06 pm Published: 1/19 9:54 pm

FOX23 has been telling you about red flag warnings being issued around Green Country.
Sunday, FOX23 spoke with a Sapulpa man that says he never thought grilling on a Saturday would turn into shooting flames and more than half a dozen charred lawns.

We first reported this grass fire as breaking news last night on FOX23's News at 9.

Sunday, FOX23 went back to Sapulpa to speak with the victim's about just how a normal day of grilling turned into an out-of-control grass fire.

FOX23 spoke with Al Mullen at his home.

As you look down the street, you see burnt grass and charred toys.

Al Mullen told FOX23 he was smoking a prime rib when winds picked up Saturday.

Mullen realized the wind was too much for him to try to control his smoker so he ran inside to grab water to put out the smoker.

However, Mother Nature had another idea, because when Mullen came back outside, he found the winds had already picked up, causing embers to fly and start shooting flames out of control.

"I never thought it would even happen but it did," said Mullen.

Toys are melted, hot tub charred and a burnt fence is what is left in one of Al Mullen's neighbor's backyard.

Mullen told me when he first started smoking a prime rib, the wind wasn't blowing but about an hour into cooking, but the winds picked up.

He told me embers blew off the smoker and caught a little piece of grass on fire, but he says he stomped it out.

Mullen explained he was going to go inside and get a bowl of water and just put the entire smoker out but when he came back outside, he said it was too late.

Less than two minutes and the grass fire caught and was out of control.

"The looks of the flames when it was rolling up that hill the flames were off the ground rolling then they'd touch back down and just kind of like this, and you could hear it go boom and fly back out," said Mullen.

That wasn't the only fire during Saturday's red flag warning.

FOX23 was there when officers blocked off roads in Skiatook because smoke from a grass fire made the highway too dangerous for drivers.

"Once the wind picks up around dry grass there is no stopping it," said Steve Fleak, a Sapula firefighter.

Fleak told FOX23 that more than half a dozen yards were burned and the side of a house caught on fire.

Mullen said he knows it could have been worse but looking around at what the fire left behind brought him to tears.

"…hurt my neighbors," said Mullen.

FOX23 found out from the Sapulpa Fire Department no one was injured during this fire.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Mayor Maynot - 1/20/2014 9:06 AM
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You could have more fun cooking eggs on the grill. Or you could be like Hank Hill and cook outdoors with a propane grill.
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