I was picking up trash around my backyard at the alley a little over an hour ago and turned to see a brush fire two houses down right on the alley. The brush pile was almost as tall as I am and at least 25 feet at its widest, so the flames grew within minutes to a height of about 25-30 feet in the air at their highest. The blaze also started creeping up toward the front of the property and the house.
I ran to our house and knocked on the window and told S-townWife to call 911. She saw the flames and called. I ran back to the alley, and a Channel 4 News crew, which had been at the Metro Action Commission on another story, was also on the site.
Here are some pictures I took after S-townWife brought the camera out to me (the flames had already started shrinking by the time I started snapping them):
As for how it started, my money is on a group of about six teenage boys walking by the pile no more than five minutes beforehand. At least one of them has been seen vandalizing property in the past. With school out early due to the heat, the teens around here generally seem bored and just looking for trouble.
However, in fairness to them, the brush was piled right to the edge of the alley a few weeks ago and it was a dry tender box that could have been ignited by a passing motorist throwing a cigarette out. Public Works has crews out here cleaning the mess up now.