Brick woman charged with criminal mischief after her fire pit led to a much larger fire
It's like Smoky the Bear always says, only you can cause forest fires, except in the case of a Brick woman, only you can cause neighborhood fires.
Brick Township Police announced on Wednesday that they've charged a woman with criminal mischief after detectives and the Brick Fire Bureau determined that a fire that lit the neighbors shed on fire started in her fire pit.
Police arrived to a home on Dorothy Place March 22 around 12:45 pm and then spotted a shed behind a home on Mohawk Drive full of flames.
Firefighters from Breton Woods, Pioneer Hose and Laurelton Fire Companies responded to the scene along with Brick Township EMS to put out the fire and make sure everyone was okay.
The fire itself caused extensive damage to neighboring properties before being fully extinguished.
Following an investigation by Brick Fire Bureau inspectors and Brick Police Detectives, Barbara Johnson, 56, was charged with criminal mischief after authorities determined that she failed to properly cover and extinguish an open fire which was burning within 15’ of a structure or combustible material.
Police said the charge of Criminal Mischief was for negligently causing damage to property by an uncontrolled fire.
Johnson was processed and released on a summons.
Meanwhile, for anyone else thinking of igniting their fire pits, the Bureau of Fire Safety said they want remind you that "all recreational (back yard) fires MUST be in an approved non-combustible device, at least 15’ from any structures or combustible materials and continually attended. There must also be a method for extinguishing the fire present."
They add that anyone who uses a fire pit and doesn't take the necessary precautions "can be held criminally and or civilly liable for damages caused by a fire."