A Brush fire, one of several pockets of flame, rages on Friday afternoon. Fires in unmaintained natural areas on City, and Federal parklands located in Staten Island have been a serious issue for decades. (Photos: Anthony DePrimo/Staten Island Advance)
Mary Shaw stood on her neighbor’s top steps and watched firefighters spray long trails of water over several suspicious fires that broke out yesterday in the huge field of brush bordering her home on Guyon Avenue.
"I’m scared to death," said Ms. Shaw, who has seen plenty of brush fires in the 37 years she has lived in her house. Yesterday’s blaze erupted in the Oakwood Beach field about 2 p.m, according to The Staten Island Advance.
"I heard it. I looked out and saw flames," she said. "It always starts at the beach. I think it’s kids."
"We found numerous fires upon arrival, which makes it definitely suspicious," Deputy Assistant Chief James Leonard said of the blaze, which scorched nearly 100 acres of brush and threatened homes along Kissam Avenue and Fox Lane.
"You don’t get two or three fires at the same time" unless they’ve been set, Leonard added.
The 100-acre blaze reached a fifth alarm and drew nearly 250 firefighters in response, along with police and representatives of the city Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Environmental Protection.