Recent fire in Medina could have been avoided with simple precautions

Posted 8 May 2014 at 12:00 am

Press release, Medina Fire Department

MEDINA – The Village of Medina Fire Department recently had a fire call in the village that could have been very destructive to both life and property had it gone undetected a little while longer. We would like to highlight this call with you now to prevent further property damage and/or loss of life.

The Fire Department responded in the early hours one recent morning for a reported structure fire. First arriving units found a bale of hay next to the structure on fire with some extension to the structure. The fire was quickly knocked down, keeping damage to the house minimal. The cause of the fire was determined to be an improperly discarded cigarette igniting the bale of hay. Not a big fire, not a lot of damage, no one injured. No big deal, right? WRONG!

For a fire to happen you need three things readily available: fuel, heat (ignition source) and oxygen (air). In this recent scenario, remove the hay bale (fuel) from being near the structure and you wouldn’t have had fire extension to the structure.  Properly dispose of the cigarette (ignition source) and neither the hay bale nor the house would have caught fire.

Simple actions or inactions can have catastrophic results. Keeping fire wood, brush, hay, straw and other combustibles away from your home is an easy action you can take that could prevent your house from catching fire. Properly extinguishing and disposing of smoking material is very quick and simple.  Not putting the material out can be costly and even deadly.

Spring has finally arrived and everyone is out cleaning up their yards. It is a perfect time to discuss another fire safety issue. We had a harsh winter that caused many limbs and branches to fall. We field a lot of questions and phone calls related to open burning. Simply put, per the Village of Medina Code, there is no open burning inside the Village allowed, at any time during the year.

Recreational fires are allowed but they must be in approved containers and other guidelines established by the NY State Fire Code must be followed.

Thank you! Have a fun but safe spring and summer!!

Code of the Village of Medina

§88-1. Burning of combustible material.

It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to burn trash, lumber, leaves, straw or other combustible material in any street or alley or in any vacant lot or open area within the village limits of the Village of Medina.

§88-2. Penalties for offenses.

Any person committing an offense against any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be guilty of a violation pursuant to the Penal Law of the State of New York, punishable by a fine not exceeding two hundred fifty dollars ($250.) or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding fifteen (15) days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Fire Code of New York State

Section 307

Open Burning and Recreational Fires

307.1 General. A person shall not kindle or maintain or authorize to be rekindled or maintained any open burning unless conducted and approved in accordance with this section.

307.2 Authorization. Where required by state or local law or regulations, open burning shall only be permitted with prior approval from the state or local air and water quality management authority, provided that all conditions specified in the authorization are followed.

3073 Prohibited open burning. Open burning that will be offensive or objectionable because of smoke or odor emissions when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous shall be prohibited.

307.4 Location. The location for open burning shall not be less than 50 feet from any structure, and provisions shall be made to prevent the fire from spreading to within 50 feet of any structure.


1. Fires in approved containers that are not less than 15 feet from a structure.

2. The minimum required distance from a structure shall be 25 feet where the pile size is 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height.

307.4.1 Bonfires. A bonfire shall not be conducted within 50 feet of a structure or combustible material unless the fire is contained in a barbeque pit. Conditions which could cause fire to spread within 50 feet of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.

307.4.2 Recreational fires. Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.

307.5 Attendance. Open burning, bonfires or recreational fires shall be constantly attended until the fire is extinguished. A minimum of one portable fire extinguisher complying with Section 906 with a minimum 4-A rating or other approved on-site fire-extinguishing equipment, such as dirt, sand, water barrel, garden hose or water truck, shall be available for immediate utilization.