By Leila Beem Núñez, Editor
A fire that is still under investigation destroyed a barn on the corner of Country Club and Pinehurst drives last night.
The barn, which was nearing the end of renovations, said Manchester Fire-Rescue Chief George Chambers, belonged to Judy Driver.
“We’ve had it since the 1940s. It was my grandfather’s barn,” said Driver, who said the barn was probably built in the 1930s. “I played in it as a child, my brother, my nieces, my children and neighborhood children — we’ve all been in there.”
All five volunteer fire departments – Summitville, Hillsboro, Hickerson, North Coffee and New Union – along with Manchester-Fire Rescue responded to the fire. The Manchester department arrived at the scene at approximately 9:45 p.m., after receiving a call from North Coffee Volunteer Fire Department.
“We came at the request of North Coffee. They were the first here,” Chambers said. “Then we got here, and the rest of the departments arrived and all helped put out the fire.”
Though Manchester Fire left the scene at approximately 11:55 p.m., Chambers said New Union Volunteer Fire firefighters continued fighting the blaze until approximately 3 a.m. Wednesday morning. Manchester Fire alone used about 10,000 gallons of water to fight the fire.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, Chambers said, though electrical causes have been ruled out.
“There’s not electricity at all to the facility, so that rules out that,” Chambers said. “So, the cause is undetermined and is still being investigated at this time.”
Driver said that the loss of the barn is a great sadness to her family, but that she is grateful nobody was injured and no other property was damaged.
“Last night I just couldn’t believe it was happening. Today it’s just been more realistic,” Driver said. “But I’m thankful that no one was hurt, and that it didn’t spread to anybody’s house or into the woods.”
Chambers said that though the loss of property was unfortunate, the show of mutual aid by local fire departments was positive.
“They did a good job, keeping it contained and away from [the homes here]. Nobody was hurt,” Chambers said. “It was a good effort, good teamwork.”