July 1, 2016


Litchfield Twp. barn blaze takes most of day to subdue

Perched on piles of hay, firefighters worked throughout the day Thursday to make sure the remnants of an early morning barn fire in Litchfield Township would not re-ignite. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY KIERA MANION-FISCHER)

Firefighters worked the scene of a barn fire for at least 12 hours Thursday in Litchfield Township.

The fire destroyed a 9,600-square-foot pole barn owned by Kruggel Farms Inc., 4720 Avon Lake Road.

The barn was used to store 900 round bales and 1,000 square bales of hay.

Firefighters were called to the property by a worker at about 4:30 a.m., and some remained there until after 4:30 p.m.

Bob Reusch, president of Kruggel Farms, said a tractor might have created a spark, catching the hay on fire.

He estimated about $120,000 worth of property was lost, including the barn and its contents.

The roughly 1,000-acre property is primarily a dairy and grain farm, he said.

Reusch said he was grateful to the fire departments for preventing the fire from spreading to another barn within 30 feet where cows are housed.

“All of our heifers were kept in that building,” he said. “We were prepared to move them.”

No one was injured and no animals were hurt as a result of the blaze.

Litchfield Township Fire Chief Jason Davis said the official cause of the fire had not been determined Thursday.

Chatham, Spencer, Grafton, York Township/Erhart and Lafayette fire departments helped throughout the day.

About 55 firefighters were on the scene early Thursday. Some departments were released and others were called for mutual aid at about 2 p.m., Davis said.

Two excavators and a bulldozer were provided by local contractors, including Fechko Excavating, Bohner and Field Energy Service.

Firefighters shifted the hay while firefighters doused it with water to eliminate any “hot spots,” which could cause the hay to re-ignite, Davis said.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.