Lincoln County neighborhood unhappy with construction site fires

TROY, Mo. – Both residents and firefighters confirm a homebuilder has burning piles of debris at a home construction site in Lincoln County.

Both say it's got to stop.

Neighbors report burning debris piles at the Canon Home Builders site outside on Rockport Drive outside of Troy, Missouri twice in the past 10 days. Vandals aren't starting the fires. The construction workers are.

On August 2, there were four fires surrounding the site with nobody there.

“There is a problem with this, yes,” said Asst. Chief Robert Shramek of the Lincoln County Fire Protection District. “Any construction builder is not supposed to burn any type of construction waste at all.”

He confirmed firefighters responded to put out the four fires.

Workers lit another fire Thursday, but stuck around this time, neighbors said. They wondered why there were no construction dumpsters for the debris.

“There is a hillside there with completely dry brush,” Shramek said. “There is a possibility of getting over that fence line and eventually get into a structure.”

Even though the burn piles are surrounded by freshly turned dirt and may seem relatively small, they are very close to neighbors’ swing sets and fences.

The burning was not just careless, it was dangerous, neighbors said.

“Our concern was as it started to burn the embers would start to blow and something else would catch fire,” said Carissa Woodson, who lives next door to the largest of the burn piles.

If firefighters are called out again, they will report the builder to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, which can levy fines up to $10,000, Shramek said.

“Fires should be attended at all times. Most of our fires in the spring time are brush fires because it doesn’t go completely out. It’ll sit there and smolder for days and days on end. Wind comes up, picks up, it can travel a good distance through the air,” he said.

“This one over here was a really big fire,” said neighbor Tim Woodson. “It was so dry out, if something were to catch. We were leaving at the time to go somewhere. We were worried. We have our dogs.”

Since the site is in unincorporated Lincoln County, residents were allowed to burn small amounts of natural wood debris, like leaves and limbs, but builders were not allowed to burn scrap materials (even lumber), Shramek said.

Fox 2/News 11 made multiple calls to Canon Home Builders but had gotten no response as of this report.