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Model Rocket Sets off 5-Acre Fire in Gwinnett County Park

A 5-acre fire was started in a park in Lawrenceville, Ga. on Saturday, leading to charges against a 42-year-old man for violating an ordinance that prohibits firing model rockets in Gwinnett County parks.

About 30 firefighters battled a , brining it under control in little more than an hour. Officials said a man has been charged, allegedly for starting the fire by setting off a model rocket.

"It is a Gwinnett County Ordinance that prohibits persons from shooting off model rockets within Gwinnett County parks," said GCF&ES spokesman Lt. Eric Eberly, adding he was not sure of the exact details of the code. "But the law is intended specifically for what he violated. My understanding is it is a misdemeanor and he will have to pay a fine for the ticket issued. Fire investigators will not be adding to the charges at this time."

No injuries were reported and no structures were damaged. However, the fire did ignite a large section of dense bush that officials said threatened several areas of the park. Multiple fire engines responded and a rehab cooling unit was required for firefighters working in the intense heat. An additional 8,000-gallon watertender truck also was required to get water to areas difficult to reach.

Patrick T. Malone July 01, 2012 at 11:07 PM
not likely that the model rocket did this all by itself. Probably the owner of the rocket was the actual cause.
Judy Moore July 02, 2012 at 09:50 PM
It appears that part of the large, iconic oak tree was damaged by the fire. The lower leaves look scorched. What's the story on the tree?
Vanzetta Evans (Editor) July 02, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Not sure, but I'll look into it Judy.

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