Stillwater grass fire burns hundreds of acres

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STILLWATER, Okla. -- The fight continued late into Monday night to get the flames under control from a grass fire in the eastern part of Stillwater.

The fire broke out around 2 p.m. Monday afternoon and burned more than 700 acres near Highway 51 and Fairgrounds Road.

Officials believe a motorist driving down Highway 51 inadvertently started the fire when their muffler was dragging on the ground, sparking some flames.

Crews from about 40 different agencies came together to battle the flames.

And a helicopter was called in to drop water from the air into some of the more heavily wooded areas.

Several residences were burned in the fire.

Firefighters had to take extra precautions in the brutal heat.

"We'll have rehab set up for the guys that are coming in. Typically that's a mandatory 30 minutes of rehab, getting checked out by medical staff before they're released to go back out again," said Stillwater Fire Marshall, Trent Hawkins.

The owners of Simon's Towing and Recovery along Highway 51 raced to the business to try and move everything they could out of the path of the fire.

"We got a call that the business was about to be burned and so we rushed down here to help them get all the equipment out, the wreckers out," said Amber Keeter.

Keeter says all they could do was watch helplessly as the fire inched closer.

"It's very scary and it was just right over our shoulders and ten minutes ago there was another flare up in a brush pile so it's been very close."

In the end, their business escaped the fire.

Families in about 50 homes had to be evacuated.

A local church opened its doors to those displaced by the fire.

Most people had been allowed back in by Sunday night.

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