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Fires In Montgomery & Labette Counties Intentionally Set, Firefi - KOAM TV 7

Fires In Montgomery & Labette Counties Intentionally Set, Firefighter Injured

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     An investigation is underway in Southeast Kansas involving numerous grass fires.
     Officials in Montgomery County say they were *intentionally* set.
Sergeant Michael Grimes, Montgomery County Sheriff's Office : "At this point we do believe they were intentionally set, they will be further investigated by our office and the Labette County Sheriff's Office in a joint collaboration."
Volunteers with the Montgomery County Rural Fire District say they were called to a grass fire around 11:40 in the morning.
They had no idea this fire, would grow so big, so fast.
Grimes: "I'm actually a rural fire department member out of Independence, and, in my 12 years in being in rural fire, I've never seen one this far out of control."
Officials say four fires were called in within a matter of six minutes and quickly crossed county lines.
Now law enforcement is looking for a suspect vehicle.
Authorities describe the vehicle as a black truck with a camper shell with white lettering on the side saying "Gettin It".
There's no estimate yet on the acreage burned, but the damage is widespread.
Sergeant Grimes says the fire, hit close to home.
Grimes: "We had one firefighter injured, just coming out, to try and do what they're supposed to do."
Despite how widespread the fire reached, grimes says there is some good news.
Grimes: "Luckily enough, we have been able to save all the homes in Montgomery and Labette County, we did have one structure, a barn, that was caught on fire just into Labette county."
     Anyone with information is urged to contact the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.. 620-330-1000.

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Chris Warner
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A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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