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Riding lawn mower sparks garage fire

(Nicole Griffin, NewsChannel 12 photo)

NEW BERN, Craven County - Multiple fire departments responded to a big shed fire which all sparked from a riding lawn mower.

The fire happened at West Rock Creek Road in New Bern. When firefighters arrived, the entire garage area was up in flames. The fire was sparked by yard work, it turns out.

"There were flames coming out of pretty much every window and door on the detached garage," said Nick Taylor of Township 7 Fire Department.

Firefighters from Township 7 Fire Department, Maysville Fire Department and West of New Bern Fire Department responded to the call.

"We've got a lot of trees out her and they dropped a lot of leaves and I was pushing them around to get them raked up and I guess some got jammed up on the muffler of the lawnmower," said Matt Powarski, owner of the garage. "When I parked it and turned around to do something else, it caught the shed on fire."

Because of the trees, firefighters needed to get the flames out quickly, which they did in about 15 minutes.

"There is, as you can see around you, a lot of trees," Taylor said. "You get the trees involved, they catch on fire, embers can float, go into houses, there's a lot of leaves on the ground, the fire can run."

While the owner lost many tools and materials he uses at work, at the end of the day, he is still thankful."

"No one got hurt, it's the holidays, the fire department did great, really awesome response time, nice guys and I can't thank them enough," Powarski said. "We're OK, we'll be all right, just plow through it. Merry Christmas."

All of the firefighters that responded to this fire are volunteer. The owners of the shed say they are very happy with how quickly they were able to respond.  

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