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Winds topple luminaries, sparking small fires

Posted December 25, 2008

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— Strong winds toppled luminaries, sparking some small grass and yard fires around the Triangle Christmas Eve.

Wake County fire dispatch officials said they received around a dozen calls reporting fires from luminaries. Orange County units responded to multiple fires as well, including ones of Brush Meadows Drive and Eagle Creek Court.

The fires never spread to any structures, and no injuries were reported.

In 2007, a burning ban enforced for the drought prohibited most luminary displays.

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  • TeresaBee Dec 25, 2008

    The streets I saw with luminaries were lined up with raked leaves then the luminaries in front of them.. Doh! Looked like a brainiac move.

  • Kilroy Dec 25, 2008

    "I understand candlelight vigils or ceremonies. But not sandy bags with candles sitting unattended throughout the city. I'm sure this will come to an end before too long."

    I sure hope so. My neighborhood puts out luminaries every year. A pain to light especially last night with the wind and then have to pick up the bags the next day.

  • Lone Voice in the Wilderness Dec 25, 2008

    As I understand the tradition, luminaries are lit to serve as a guide for Joseph and Mary as they make their way toward Bethlehem and the Nativity.

    It's been several years since my church lit luminaries, but we used gallon milk jugs filled with sand. While probably not 100% safe, it was probably safer than paper bags.

  • happymom Dec 25, 2008

    Our neighbor's yard caught fire. Luckily, a man driving by saw the flames and alerted them. The fire was out by the time the fire dept. got here, but it was scary for a few minutes.

    Glad everyone is okay.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Dec 25, 2008

    I've never understood the significance of the luminaries anyway. I know the Girl Scouts sell these each Christmas. But I've never understood the tradition. Christmas lights should be burning, not unsafe fires all over the city. I understand candlelight vigils or ceremonies. But not sandy bags with candles sitting unattended throughout the city. I'm sure this will come to an end before too long.