Niagara Gazette

Local News

August 12, 2013

Campfire causes issues for residents, police in Lewiston

Niagara County Sheriff's deputies were called to Kline Road about 9 p.m. Friday for a report of an oversized bonfire.

The complainant, a 75-year-old Kline Road man, told a deputy someone was burning a large fire south of his address and it was causing problems for his wife, who he said has a medical condition that is exacerbated by the smell of smoke.

The resident said he has been driving around the neighborhood looking in neighbors' yards for any campfires and reporting them to police, for about 14 years.

The deputy found the home where the reported fire was burning and found a fire burning in a small, "well-constructed" pit. The deputy said the size of the flame and the amount of smoke was reasonable for a residential campfire and there were no violations.

The homeowners said they were well aware of the neighbor who "patrols" the neighborhood looking for campfires. The residents told the deputy they were simply trying to enjoy the nice weather with a small campfire.

The deputy said he was satisfied with the situation and left.

A short time later, the deputy said the complainant called the sheriff's office again demanding to speak to a supervisor.

When the deputy returned to Kline Road, the complainant said the neighbor's fire was now 20-feet high. He again related his wife's medical condition to the deputy and stated no one within a mile should be allowed to have any type of open burn.

The deputy returned to the home with the campfire and found that it was actually smaller than it was the first time he was there.

The residents said, in the interest of being good neighbors, they would extinguish the campfire altogether and did so in the deputy's presence. They added that they would speak to town officials about the matter as well.

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