Grass Fire Burns Parts Of Mt Carmel Cemetery

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The scorched ground of Mt. Carmel Cemetery shows where the grass fire quickly spread, burning the ground above many tombstones.

Arvlon McKinney was driving by and saw the smoke and flames.

"It was fire. It was just a few flames burning the grass up. It was just burning the grass up," said McKinney.

Firefighters say sparks from a passing train started the flames.

Winds were gusting 10-25 miles per hour Tuesday, which only added to the difficulty as the fire spread to two areas.

Firefighters got it under control, but still had to keep spraying water to keep flames from fanning up again.

It was just another hit for the cemetery already under fire for unmarked graves, crumbling headstones, and overall unkempt conditions.

When Arvlon McKinney noticed the fire Tuesday afternoon, he and his sister got another surprise.

Their mother and brother's graves that had been in the same place since the mid-1990s had been moved without their knowledge, and they say everything was  a mess.

"They got tombstones leaning. They got folks' tombstones laying down. They got branches and bushes over people tomb stones, like it's just a junk site," said McKinney.

Now, a fire, which makes some people wonder what is really going on.

"Maybe somebody is angry. Somebody is angry. Somebody is angry with the people who own this," said Vontina Hart, whose mother is buried at Mt Carmel Cemetery.

Again, firefighters say the fire appears to have been started by sparks from a passing train.