Maria Kacik | The Gazette
HOMER TWP. — Several horses on the Linden Horse Farm got quite a scare Friday afternoon when a storage barn next to theirs caught on fire and propane tanks inside exploded.
“They were having a fit because all the propane tanks were in there and they blew up; all the (tractor) batteries were in there and they blew up,” said Bill Linden, owner of the farm at 11480 Black River School Road.
Linden said when he left his farm at around 3:15 p.m. Friday, there was no sign of fire in the barn, which also held hay and various farm equipment.
Chief Bob Wright of the Town and Country Fire Department in West Salem said the department received the first fire call at 3:36 p.m. from a passer-by.
Wright said by the time crews arrived, it was a fully working fire.
“It had a little head start on us,” he said.
In addition to Town and Country, Lodi, Spencer, Chatham, Sullivan and Canaan Township fire departments responded. Wright said they had it under control in about a half-hour.
No people or animals were injured in the fire that destroyed the barn. Lost in the fire were four to five tractors, hand tools, some balers and 126 bales of hay.
“Obviously all that is a total loss,” Wright said.
Linden said he’s going to have to figure out how to feed his horses this season. The 126 bales that served as kindling for fire were supposed to feed them for the entire summer.
He said some of the biggest losses of the day were his two 45-year-old John Deere tractors.
“Those were nice, old tractors,” he said, as he watched flames consume them.
The fire’s cause and a damage estimate were not available Friday.
Wright said the state fire marshal’s office would investigate, but he didn’t suspect foul play.
Linden said taking care of the rubble left behind will take some work.
“I know insurance is one thing,” said Linden, noting his farm is insured. “But just getting everything cleared up is a totally different thing.”
Contact Maria Kacik at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.