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Brush fire forces evacuation
Grease fire temporarily closes Chili's
0112 Brush fire
Firefighters work in a cloud of smoke Saturday to extinguish a brush fire that scorched five acres in Hinesville. - photo by Photo by Lewis Levine

A brush fire Saturday that scorched five acres in Hinesville prompted the evacuation of residents in the Crystal Lake subdivision near Airport Road. The fire began shortly before 12:30 p.m. and spread quickly because of the area’s dry conditions. The flames raged behind homes in the neighborhood, which is on Rowe Street. 
According to Hinesville Fire Chief Lamar Cook, the blaze was contained in about 45 minutes. The fire came within inches of a home, scorching the grass around the residence. The subdivision was covered in a thick, white blanket of smoke, which made it difficult for responders to see and breathe.
Firefighters from Hinesville, Walthourville and the forestry commission tended to the fire and fought hotspots for nearly seven hours to ensure it would not flare up again. Cook said. Officials are unsure what caused the fire, but the case is under investigation.
Another fire broke out Sunday afternoon at Chili’s restaurant on Oglethorpe Highway and was quickly extinguished, but the eatery did temporarily close.
Hinesville Fire Department Public Affairs Officer Capt. Kris Johanson said a grease fire erupted shortly after 4:30 p.m. and a Chili’s employee extinguished it. The fire was out by the time units from the Hinesville Fire Department arrived on the scene.
Johanson said two engine units and a ladder truck responded. No injuries were reported.
Chili’s re-opened Monday afternoon.

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