By AMANDA ROACH
An accidental fire destroyed a pole barn at a logging facility on U.S. 40 Monday morning.
The Jefferson Township Volunteer Fire Department were dispatched to John Collier Logging Inc., 9874 E. U.S. 40, for a wood splitter on fire inside a building. Four minutes later, 911 dispatchers dropped a MABAS box alarm for a fully involved building fire.
According to Jefferson Twp. Training Officer Jeff Perry, the pole barn was about 85 percent on fire by the time of first firefighters' arrival. He also said the roof over the shop had collapsed prior to firefighters' arrival.
Perry and another Jefferson Twp. firefighter were asked by the owners to save the office, so they focused on this while waiting for additional help to arrive.
Perry said that once other firefighters and departments began to arrive, tasks were divided. There was one incident involving hydraulic fuel. Perry said firefighters heard something bubbling and popping inside the barn. Once firefighters discovered the sound to be coming from barrels of hydraulic fuel, they focused on cooling off the barrels before the fuel exploded.
Once the barrels were cooled, firefighters went back to attacking the blaze. Perry said that Jefferson Twp. had to call for more assistance, so a second alarm was called, bringing additional help.
According to Perry, the fire was started by an employee removing a part from a wood splitter with a cutting torch. Once the fire started, other employees attempted to extinguish the blaze with the garden hose, but the fire quickly spread. The fire was determined to be accidental.
Cloverdale Township Fire Chief Kerry Shepherd said firefighters were able to save some records in the office.
No estimated damage value was available at presstime.
Jefferson Twp. was assisted on scene by Cloverdale Township, Fillmore, Stilesville and Mill Creek Fire volunteer departments, Greencastle Fire Department, Putnam County Sheriff's Department, Operation Life ambulance and the Putnam County Red Cross.