October 2, 2008

Fire Engulfs Hay Barn on City’s East Side

By Anonymous

A burning barn Tuesday caused problems for the St. Joseph Fire Department. A three-year-old barn filled with hay erupted in flames at about 9:30 a.m. near Vincent Halter's home, 4202 Riverside Terrace.

"The land is just inside the city limits," said John Nelson, a battalion chief with the Fire Department. "But there was no adequate water source."

As flames consumed the barn, the roof collapsed and temperatures rose to more than a 1,000 degrees. Mr. Nelson pulled firefighters back from the inferno to wait for water tankers.

The city activated a mutual aid agreement with area fire departments. The state fire department at Rosecrans dispatched a 2,000-gallon tanker and the South Central Buchanan County Fire Protection District organized a crew to bring a 2,500-gallon tanker with a 1,500-gallon drop tank to the scene. Each tanker could provide only a few minutes' worth of water for the St. Joseph trucks before they had to disconnect and drive to Riverside and Pickett roads. At this second location the tankers could fill up at a high- pressure hydrant and head back to the fire.

Mr. Halter rescued two tractors, but a small baler had to be left for flames to consume.

Originally published by by St. Joseph News-Press.

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