Old barn destroyed

Firefighters from four departments spray water on other nearby buildings around a barn destroyed by fire at a farm on Raley Road on Monday evening. The property is owned by Michael Powell. (Photo by Deanne Johnson)

ROGERS — A barn being used primarily for storage was destroyed when it caught fire at a farm on Raley Road in Elkrun Township Monday evening.

Firefighters from the Lisbon, Negley, East Palestine and West Point volunteer departments responded to the fire, which was up a lane away from the road, but the glow from the blaze was visible for miles.

Lisbon Fire Chief Paul Gresh said when firefighters arrived at 6533 Raley Road the frame of the large barn was still up, but it collapsed shortly after they arrived.

Firefighters had to leave some trucks down the narrow lane from the fire and could not set up a portable container to hold the water. Instead, fire trucks had to be backed up and down the lane, making it more difficult.

The property owner, Michael Powell, said they were just there at 5:05 p.m. and there was no sign of any problems at the barn. He arrived home from work and he and his fiance, Dorothy, left to go pick up their dog from the veterinarian.

That’s when a neighbor saw the red glow and flashing on a tree at his home and messaged them the barn was on fire as they pulled in at Angels for Animals.

By 6 p.m., the barn, which Powell believes was built in the 1930s, was destroyed. Firefighters worked to protect an older barn and a shed nearby. The family’s home also sat nearby about 30 yards from the barn.

Gresh said the 20 firefighters who responded used more than 30,000 gallons of water and also added foam at the end to fully smother the fire.

Although one nearby building received moderate damage, only the barn, which was about 60 feet by 60 feet and 40 feet high, was destroyed.

Powell said there were household items stored in the barn as well as saws, routers, drills and wood he had planned to use to make furniture.

There was also a 1969 Dodge Coronet, a classic vehicle Powell said he planned to restore, along with other miscellaneous items he had stored for family and friends.

Power for the well pump house went from the house to the older barn, then to the newer barn and then to the pump. Powell said he may have to run a new electric line to move the power supply to the pump.

He also was unsure about the insurance for the barn because he said he was in the process of changing it over to a different company.

He and Dorothy stood in the yard watching firefighters and talking about how quickly the barn with its old wooden beams and round log posts went up in flames, but Powell noted it all could have been worse.

The cause of the fire, while not suspicious, is under investigation, Gresh said.