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Fire destroys barn in Jefferson

September 02, 1997

By JENNYLYNN BROWN

Staff Writer

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Fire destroyed a large hay-filled barn and damaged a corn crib on Earl Road early Saturday morning, fire officials said.

Chief Ed Smith of Independent Fire Company in Charles Town said the call came in at 1:39 a.m.

"We arrived to find a large barn totally involved in a fire that had radiated across the property line and started burning a corn crib. We let the barn burn and saved the corn crib and other attached storage buildings," Smith said.

The fire started in a 100-foot by 100-foot barn on O'Sullivan Farms about four miles outside of the city, he said. The property is owned by Randy Funkhouser.

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"A few weeks ago, they put hay in the barn and we suspect it was spontaneous combustion. There were 20 feet in between the properties. Both of them were close to the property line, and that was the problem," Smith said.

The barn contained about 10,000 bales of hay and 5,000 bales of straw, Smith said. The estimated damage is $70,000 for the barn and bales, Smith said.

Estimated damage to the corn crib, owned by Tom McCallum, was $1,000, Smith said.

All Jefferson County fire companies assisted as well as South Berkeley Fire Company and John Enders Fire Company from Berryville, Va., Smith said.

Smith said firefighters left the scene at 4:45 a.m.

There were no injuries.

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