February 19, 2014 - A smoldering pile of debris and hay was all that remained following a fire Monday afternoon that claimed a 2,400-square-foot barn at 887 N. Coats Rd., between Seymour Lake and Granger roads, in Oxford Township.
Oxford and Brandon firefighters battled a barn fire Monday afternoon on N. Coats Rd. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
The call came in at 3:43 p.m. and Oxford firefighters arrived on scene at 3:51 p.m.
"It was fully involved," said Oxford Fire Chief Pete Scholz. "There were flames (pouring) out every window and through the roof at that point."
Scholz said the fire started in the barn's tack room and the cause "appears to be electrical in nature."
There no horses in the barn at the time of the fire. "They were all out in the pasture," Scholz said.
Firefighters didn't clear the scene until 8 p.m. To put the fire out completely, they spent hours tearing down portions of the barn that had remained standing and digging through a massive pile of hay that had been stored in the barn's hayloft.
Firefighters had to dig through a pile of hay that was, in Scholz' estimation, about 10 feet high and keep pouring water on it.
"It's hard to put out, so we had to keep digging through it," Scholz said. "As soon as the wind picked up, it would flare back up again."
"It's still smoldering out there today," the chief said on Tuesday.
Scholz estimated $180,000 in structural damage, plus another $80,000 for contents such as a manure spreader, saddles and bridles.
The site presented a few challenges for firefighters.
Scholz noted the barn was so far off the road, they had to lay 800 feet of 5-inch hose to reach it.
Also, because there are no fire hydrants in that area, firefighters had to rely on tanker trucks which were being refilled from a hydrant at the intersection of Market St. and Dunlap Rd.
Firefighters poured 12 truck loads of water on the fire, according to Scholz. At 2,500 gallons each, that equals 30,000 gallons.
The Brandon Township Fire Department assisted Oxford at the scene, while Orion and Addison firefighters covered Oxford's calls.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.