Another fire claimed a barn and farmhouse this week in a small town in Maine. The fire began in the barn — which was being used to house mulch hay — before moving to the home. The incident was reported at 4 p.m. and crews were still battling the blaze past 10 p.m. that night.
Central Maine reports that the Whitefield farm and the home are owned by Mark and Pam Fenderson. The couple and their children were not injured in the fire. The animals were not in the barn when the fire started and were also not injured.
According to Whitefield Fire Chief Scott Higgins the fire was extinguished a little before 10 p.m. Tuesday night. Fire departments from about 10 different towns in the area showed up to assist in fighting the blaze, which was complicated by cold temperatures and malfunctioning equipment.
“It was frigid. Equipment was freezing. People were freezing. It was horrible,” Higgins said in a telephone interview with the Wicasset Newspaper.
A representative from the State Fire Marshal’s Office was scheduled to visit the farm Wednesday morning to try to determine the cause of the fire. The barn was completely destroyed. Though the home was still standing after the fire was extinguished, it will need to be torn down and rebuilt.
The fire was the second of two fires in a single week in Whitefield. The first, which occurred January 27th, claimed the home of a family of 10.
Barns can be more at risk for fire in the winter when heating units are used to keep them warm. Amish barns, which are popular in the northeast, are constructed using reinforced doors, high quality materials, and heavy duty door trim. They are also generally made from wood as much as possible, which puts them at risk for fires. Barn owners should always keep fire safety and prevention in mind during the winter months.