Tractors Help Battle Blaze

Tractors Help Battle Blaze

by Kelly Mills on September 6, 2011 at 8:30 am

Firefighters from multiple departments and some helpful neighbors spent hours battling a barn blaze Tuesday afternoon in Salt Creek Township.

A fire started in the barn of Carl Longstreth at 4140 Salt Creek Drive around 4 p.m.

Neighbors immediately took to their tractors and began pulling burning hay from the barn. Wayne Township Fire Chief Don Alexander says their help was important because the structure was filled with hundreds of bales, with each weighing around 800 pounds.

"It’s amazing the barns still standing. Very seldom do you go to a barn fire with hay that there’s anything left but a smoldering pile of rubble," says Alexander.

Alexander says without the tractors, firefighters would not have been able to move the hay. Neighbor Gerald Wagner says they have a tight knit community and he was just returning a favor to a friend.

"This man here, my son got his brain stem injury, (in a) motorcycle wreck, and I had to spend two weeks in South Bend, Indiana and when I came home all my hay was done," he says.

Alexander says the fire was likely started by spontaneous combustion, because of the recent warm temperatures. He says it’s unlikely the hay can be used to feed cattle, however the barn itself should be repairable.