Man Towing Car Without Tires Blamed For Sparking Fires In McClain Co.

Thursday, January 27th 2011, 3:19 pm
By: News 9

BLANCHARD, Oklahoma -- One man has been arrested after several fires were sparked in McClain County Thursday afternoon, according to the McClain County Sheriff's Office.

McClain County Sheriff officials said Gary Lee Albertson, 35, was towing a truck without any tires behind his vehicle. The metal on the road then sparked at least four fires within a couple miles of each other near C.R. 1340 and MacArthur Boulevard about a mile south of Highway 74 B.

"We don't encounter this very often. As everybody knows, cigarettes are our biggest concern," said McClain County Sheriff's Lt. Dan Huff.

Albertson already has recent convictions out of McClain County for larceny of an automobile and altering the vin number on an automobile.

Dibble police arrested Albertson Thursday for driving without an license and possession of a firearm, which as a convicted felon he cannot have.

At least one home was heavily damaged from one of the fires and several other homes were threatened. A few other structures were also damaged.

"That makes me feel like he must have been kind of a dummy. You know, he shouldn't have been doing that. He should have knew you know with sparks flying out everywhere that something was going to catch on fire," said Rick Montgomery, whose home was damaged by one of the fires.

Firefighters said they were having a difficult time getting a handle on the fires after they moved into open areas, spreading quickly.

Dunn said the winds were about 17-20 mph and conditions were very dry.

About 60 acres were burned. No injuries were reported.

No charges have been filed in connection with Thursday's fires.