Fire fighters respond to 2 barn fires

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Several volunteer fire departments fought two barn fires on Wednesday and Thursday when bales of hay burned.

"Hay fire is almost impossible to put out," Chapel Hill Volunteer Fire Department Chief Paul Rigsby said Thursday as two dozen firefighters had responded to a 7:10 a.m. fire call at Jerry Beech's farm on Kenny Nelson Road.

The other fire was reported at about 1 a.m. Wednesday at the Allen family dairy farm on Highway 99 across from Elmore Hill Road.

"We're just guessing" that spontaneous combustion was the cause of the fire at the Beech farm because the hay had not dried, Chief Rigsby said. The cause of the Allen family barn fire was unknown, he said.

In both fires, farm equipment was destroyed, the chief said. That included a gravity feed wagon at the Beech farm, and two grain trucks at the Allen farm.

The Farmington-Rock Creek Volunteer Fire department, and the county's Emergency Management Agency assisted the Chapel Hill department at the Allen farm fire. EMA and the Berlin Volunteer Fire Department assisted CHVFD at the Beech farm fire.