SIDNEY — A large recreational vehicle was destroyed in a fire Sunday morning that briefly spread to the surrounding woods.

Sidney firefighters were called to 516 East Sunflower Lane on Ward Pond around 11 a.m. Sunday and encountered a recreational vehicle, approximately 35 feet in length, that was engulfed in flames. The RV was parked near a camp owned by Peter Lizotte, according to Sidney Fire Chief Richard Jandeau.

The fire started when Lizotte tried to use a charger to recharge the dead automotive battery on the RV, Jandeau said. A malfunctioning power inverter is believed to have caused the blaze, he said.

According to Jandeau, the owner, who was alone on the property at the time, noticed smoke pouring from the vehicle after connecting it to the charger and ran outside to see the windshield and windows blow out. The vehicle was on fire by the time emergency crews reached the scene, Jandeau said.

“It’s totally gone, right to the frame,” he said. There were no injuries reported as a result of the fire.

The vehicle was only about 20 feet from the wood camp, but the building was not in danger, Jandeau said.

The fire did, however, spread about 30 to 40 feet into surrounding woods. Flames ignited one nearby tree, and was fueled with dead wood from winter limb breaks, Jandeau said. Despite dangerous conditions, the fire did not spread far before crews were able to extinguish it. If circumstances had been different, the fire could have gotten out of control, Jandeau added.

Dry conditions led state officials to issue a state-wide red flag warning Monday because of a “very high” risk of wildfires. The very high warning is the second most serious rating in the national five-degree fire danger rating system.

“People think that it’s wet out there,” Jandeau said of the risk of wildfires. “It looks wet underneath, but on top it’s pretty dry.”


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