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Fire destroys two barns on Printz Road

November 29, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

FAIRPLAY - A calf died in a blaze that destroyed two Printz Road barns Tuesday morning near Devil's Backbone Park, Fairplay Volunteer Fire Co. Chief Leonard Heller Jr. said.

No one was injured in the 3:48 a.m. blaze at 18848 Printz Road, but the barns - made of tin and pole - were destroyed, he said.

About 50 firefighters from 11 Maryland fire companies worked about 90 minutes to control the fire, which was sparked by a heat lamp for a newborn calf.

Heller said the barn's owner, Janet Stiles, discovered flames coming from the larger barn, a tin barn that measured about 20 feet by 40 feet. The larger barn abutted the smaller barn, a tin and pole barn that measured about 18 feet by 24 feet, Heller said.

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The barns were used for hay storage and to house calves, he said.

Since the barns were in a cluster near the home, Heller said firefighters had to water down the house and about three barns nearby to prevent the flames from spreading.

"We had to cool what we could. We couldn't get in until we had the electricity disconnected," he said.

Firefighters worked around a downed power line until Allegheny Power turned off the electricity, making it safe for firefighters to look more closely for smoldering spots.

Heller said firefighters cleared the scene at 7:45 a.m.

According to a Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office news release, the preliminary cause of the fire is accidental. The structure and contents were valued at $100,000.

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