Hog barns lost in blaze 2013.05.15

Written by David Green.

A fire Thursday night ripped through two hog barns and another single-story barn at the Nick VanStaveren farm on Elliott Highway.

Morenci firefighters were called at 10:30 p.m. Thursday and remained at the scene until 3 a.m. 

The fire department’s priority was to limit exposure to other buildings, said officer Brad Lonis, because the barns were beyond saving when trucks arrived.

VanStaveren told Lonis that he and his wife smelled smoke and as it continued to grow stronger, he looked outside and discovered the barns in flames.

Wind was blowing ash and coals toward the house, Lonis said, and fire-fighters were able to prevent damage to the residence. They were also successful in saving an outbuilding.

“The guys on the initial crew took a lot of heat,” Lonis said. “They did a heck of a job to save the other building.”

Cory Holt, R.J. Robinson, Tyler Schell and Nate Rutkowski were forced to work in between two of the barns in order to cool down the area near the outbuilding.

Eighteen Morenci firefighters were on the scene and about 30,000 gallons of water was used. Fairfield, Madison Township, Lyons, Clayton and Hudson assisted Morenci while Fayette sent a truck to Morenci’s station.

The farm is located between Horton and Bryant roads.

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