Early morning fire destroys Duff hay barn

Photo provided
An early morning fire Wednesday destroyed a hay barn at at Whitsitt Farms Inc.’s in Duff.

Herald Staff Writer

DUFF — Huntingburg Volunteer Fire Department firefighters spent six hours today at the scene of an early-morning fire that destroyed a hay barn at Duff.

A neighbor who saw flames is thought to have called in the fire at Whitsitt Farms Inc.’s location in the 3200 block of County Road 650W at 1:30 a.m., according to Fire Chief Scott Patberg.

Firefighters arrived to find a metal-sided 40-by-60 pole barn full of large round hay bales engulfed.

Patberg said the building also had a 20-by-60 lean-to attached to it with farm implements inside it.

Tanker assistance was secured from the Holland Volunteer Fire Department and the Ireland Volunteer Fire Department. Tankers from all three departments made repeated trips to ferry water to the scene.

Patberg said firefighters succeeded in keeping the fire from spreading to another outbuilding that was about 20 feet away from the burning barn. The main barn, the lean-to and their contents were a total loss. Patberg said they were insured.

Spontaneous combustion was a likely cause of the fire, according to Patberg.

A Cooper Rail Service track hoe was brought to the scene to spread the remnants of the building and the bales so firefighters could get to hot spots.

There were no injuries.

Huntingburg’s department brought three trucks and between 15 and 20 firefighters to the scene.

Holland’s department assisted with its tanker and eight firefighters, while Ireland’s department had five firefighters and its tanker in action at the scene.

The Dubois County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Police and Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services were among the agencies assisting.

Contact Bill Powell at bpowell@dcherald.com.

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