COOLSPRING TWP., Pa. (WKBN) – A fire broke out at a farm in Mercer County on Tuesday.
It happened around 4:45 p.m. at a farm on Franklin Road in Coolspring Township near Route 62.
According to East End Fire Chief Bill Finley, a fire from a burn barrel caught the nearby barn on fire. The structure was destroyed before the first fire trucks arrived.
Firefighters worked their way around the burn barrel that caused the fire, standing idly between a storage building and the now-destroyed barn. It was the grandmother of the barn’s owner — 23-year-old Leah Hensley — who decided to burn some old wood on the property since Hensley had just bought it in November.
“I just heard Grammy yelling and I came out and the barn was on fire… I was inside and I heard her yelling and I came out and the barn was completely smoking and in flames,” Hensley said.
It didn’t take long before the entire barn was gone.
“Most of it had already caught when I got there and within 3 minutes, it was swallowed in flames,” Hensley said.
The fire started around 4:45 p.m. By the time First News arrived around 5:30 p.m., all the volunteer fire departments had it out — an aerial truck left to hose down the hot spots. Water was continuously trucked in and a plastic reservoir was erected to hold it.
“About two hours, three hours ago we had another two-alarm fire. It was in town where we had hydrants and literally night and day difference in fighting these two fires based on the availability of water,” Finley said.
Finley says there wasn’t anything of value in the barn.
“It appears as though it was pretty empty, so I don’t think we have much damage to contents, maybe some hay and stuff like that. Didn’t see any farm equipment or agricultural equipment in there,” Finley said.
“It was old, a very old barn. We think the half of it was from about the 1800s. So it was a really dry, old barn,” Hensley said.
One last piece of advice from the fire chief…
“This time of year, especially with as dry as it is this week, please try and refrain from burning until we get some rain,” Finley said.
No one was hurt.
The building next to the barn had some damage, but most of it and everything inside was saved. There’s also a house on the property and it’s fine.