Weekend fire destroys Ferdinand hay barn

Nic Antaya/The Herald
Firefighters work to extinguish a barn fire along West 23rd Street in Ferdinand on Saturday. Fire departments from Ferdinand, St. Anthony and Huntingburg responded to the fire.


FERDINAND — Fire destroyed a hay barn Saturday night just west of Ferdinand.

Young girls playing in Albert Dilger’s 75-by-40 barn at 1564 W. 23rd St. reported hearing a pop and, soon after that, seeing flames. Everyone safely exited.

The Ferdinand Volunteer Fire Department was called at 8:03 p.m.

Fire officials estimated the value of the building at $25,000 and its contents at $5,000. (Photo by Kimberly Borman)

When it was reported that flames and smoke were showing, Ferdinand’s department called for all available manpower and for tanker assistance from the Huntingburg and St. Anthony fire departments.

Fire Chief John Hoppenjans said the barn contained 70 big round hay bales and between 200 and 300 small square bales.

Hoppenjans said the combination of the old barn and dry hay resulted in a fast-growing fire.

The structure and its contents were destroyed.

The cause is undetermined. The barn had old wiring but there had also been storm activity in the area at the time.

“It was too far gone to do any kind of an investigation on it,” the chief said.

Hoppenjans estimated the value of the building at $25,000 and its contents at $5,000.

The barn was insured, according to the fire chief.

Love Excavating, Holland, supplied a trackhoe that was used to pull hay apart so it could be hosed down throughout the night.

A total of seven trucks, including the two assisting tankers, and 36 firefighters responded.

Units were on the scene until 4 a.m. Sunday.

Hoppenjans said the Dilger family brought food and the Ferdinand department’s auxiliary supplied drinks.

“We were taken care of, that’s for sure,” Hoppenjans said.

There were no injuries.

The Ferdinand Police Department, Dubois County Sheriff’s Department, Dubois Rural Electric Cooperative and Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services also assisted.


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