Fire destroys Pa. barn

October 04, 2003|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

ST. THOMAS, Pa. - An old, two-story stone barn was destroyed in an early morning fire Friday that is believed to have been caused by an engine heater on a tractor stored in the barn, said Robbie Mellott, president of the St. Thomas Township Volunteer Fire Department.

No animals were injured in the fire, Mellott said.

The farm, a large working dairy farm, is owned by Kenneth Myers in the 7000 block of Edenville-Cheesetown Road, Mellott said.

Firefighters and volunteers managed to save all the equipment in the barn, including tractors and the farm's milking equipment, Mellott said.


The only tractor that was lost was the one that caused the fire, he said. The barn was filled with round hay bales, which were lost, he said.

"We saved the surrounding outbuildings," Mellott said.

The alarm came in at 7:15 a.m. Firefighters were still on the scene at 4 p.m., Mellott said.

There was no damage estimate. Myers was insured, Mellott said.

Neighboring farmers will help with the milking and feeding of Myers' herd, Mellott said.

There were problems getting water to the fire, he said. The nearest pond was several miles away, and a tanker shuttle was set up to bring water in.

Communications and cooperation among the units at the scene and that of the St. Thomas Township Supervisors kept things orderly, Mellott said.

Pennsylvania units responded from Greencastle, Chambersburg, Mercersburg, Fayetteville, McConnellsburg, Fannett Township, Metal Township, Pleasant Hall and Newburg. A unit from Maugansville in Washington County was also on the scene, Mellott said.

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