Fireworks Spark Brush Fire at RailRiders Game

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MOOSIC -- The rocket's red glare and fireworks bursting in air couldn't compete with the brush fire that broke out behind the left field wall of PNC Field following Saturday night's game.

In the dark, fans could watch lines of fire chewing through the dry brush.

Firefighters used hoses to douse the blaze and then checked the ground by flashlight.

Twelve hours later, back in line for a day game, Robert Spreen and his family said that the flames didn't scare them one little bit.

He says,"It was spectacular. It's just a brush fire and the fire department was on its way. It's still a show."

By daylight Sunday, one had to peer through the trees to see the ground that the fire scorched. Some fans we met at Sunday's game doubted the wisdom setting off fireworks with the current weather conditions.

Jay Suffren of Kingston said,"Probably, the way things are right now, I don't think they should have fireworks. I know the people would be disappointed, but it would probably be a better thing."

Clarks Summit firefighter Michael Brust and his sons were cold Saturday night and left the game before the fireworks and the flames. However, he says that going forward with the fireworks wasn't necessarily a bad call.

"I think it's OK. Not all fireworks make it to the ground," he says.

RailRiders' management tells Newswatch 16, when it comes to cancelling a fireworks show, they follow the advice of the Moosic-based Greenwood Hose Company. Saturday night, they got no warning that conditions were unsafe.

General Manager Rob Crain says brush fires caused by fireworks are not unheard of.

"From what I understand, that does happen occasionally and we always have the Greenwood Hose Company here every game to protect and take care of situations just like last night's."

He says the next fireworks display isn't scheduled until April 19th.

Who knows? By then the landscape could finally be turning green.