Fire fought by five departments destroys barn

Herald Staff Writer

DALE — Five fire departments from three counties battled a barn fire Saturday afternoon northwest of Dale in Warrick County.

The Carter Township Volunteer Fire Department based in Dale initially responded at 4:25 p.m. CDT to the REDD Moesner Farms Inc. property at 11700 E. State Road 68.

Fire Chief Dan Reinke said a 140-by-60 pole barn filled with hay, straw and a myriad of farming equipment was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. Shortly thereafter, portions of the building constructed in 1976 began collapsing upon itself.

Reinke said the farming operation’s name alludes to the first letters of the first names of the principal owners. The chief said one of the Moesners had put his car in the barn and left with a tractor and a baler not long before the fire. The cause of the blaze is unknown, said Reinke, who added that the cause could be spontaneous combustion of hay or a problem with the car.

The fire departments from Holland, Chrisney and Jackson and Pigeon townships in Warrick County assisted in fighting the fire.

Fuel and tires from four tractors, an all-terrain vehicle, a car, assorted lawn mowers, three New Holland round balers and a combine fueled the fire, Reinke said.

One of the tractors in the barn had just been repainted, Reinke said. A 1957 Gleaner combine lost in the fire was the first such implement sold by Blesch Bros. of Holland, the chief said.

At least some of the losses will be covered by insurance, according to Reinke. The Carter Township chief put the loss of the building at between $60,000 and $70,000. He could not offer an estimate for all the machinery lost.

Two backhoes were brought in during the response to pull apart debris and move sheets of tin for firefighters battling hot spots.

The Carter Township fire department was on the scene two and a half hours with two trucks and 11 firefighters. Jackson Township’s department brought three trucks and 10 firefighters. Pigeon Township contributed three trucks and seven firefighters. Holland assisted with four trucks and 14 firefighters. Chrisney’s department had two trucks and five firefighters on the scene.

A Vectren electric crew, emergency medical services ambulances from Spencer and Warrick counties and several members of the American Red Cross chapter in Warrick County who brought water and snacks assisted.

Contact Bill Powell at

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