July 24, 2016

Intermittent clouds

A barn blaze

Maria Kacik | The Gazette

BRUNSWICK HILLS TWP. — A 35-foot-high, 150-year-old barn was reduced to smoldering rubble in less than a half-hour Monday by a fire that reached heights nearly twice its size.

Jacob Cunningham, who lives at 5109 Grafton Road, said he had a campfire burning about 100 feet behind the wood barn Monday afternoon. He put the fire out, but said the wind must have blown some embers toward the barn and set it ablaze around 4 p.m.

Brunswick Hills Township firefighters arrived within three minutes of the call, Lt. Rich Dalziel said, noting the main fire station is just a couple blocks away at Grafton and Substation roads.

Fire crews from four departments — Brunswick Hills Township, Brunswick, Valley City and Medina Township — all responded to this barn fire Monday on Grafton Road in Brunswick Hills. A goat in the barn’s basement died in the blaze. (Maria Kacik | Gazette)

“The barn was a total loss when we arrived on scene,” Dalziel said, noting the flames shot almost 80 feet in the air. “The worry was the neighboring house. We wanted to make sure it didn’t catch on fire.”

“It was a fully involved fire. You could feel the heat from the road,” said township police officer Jeannine Coe, who was one of the first to arrive.

The roof on the house next door at 5105 Grafton was damaged and aluminum siding melted and curled from the heat.

Cunningham watched the fire from the road with his 4-year-old daughter, Isabella. A goat he bought her as a pet this weekend was trapped in the barn’s basement and died in the fire.

Jill Stump, who lives in the damaged house next door, also watched from the road. She said as the fire started, her mother who was visiting noticed a big ball of smoke rising into the air.

“I had to get my kids out and then get my dogs and cats out,” she said. And then it was a waiting game to see if the fire would reach her house just yards away.

Dalziel said the fire was under control in about 20 minutes.

Stump said she didn’t see the damage to the side of her house until the fire was over.

“I have to call my insurance to see what repairs I need to make,” she said.

Besides Brunswick Hills, firefighters from Brunswick, Valley City and Medina Township responded.

A damage estimate was not available Monday.

Contact Maria Kacik at (330) 721-4049 or mkacik@ohio.net.