Barn fire destroys an estimated $1M worth of trucks, tractors, tools
A barn fire caused an estimated $1 million in damage Sunday morning in Augusta Township, destroying multiple tractors and trucks stored inside, officials said Monday.
Augusta Township Assistant Fire Chief Dave Music said Monday firefighters were sent to the blaze at 8:19 a.m. Sunday off Willow Road between Whittaker Road and Gooding Road. Music said the barn was fully engulfed in flames and threatening a nearby propane tank and diesel fuel tank.
“The fire was fully involved, the plume could be seen two or three miles away,” he said.
Augusta Township firefighters called in help from the Pittsfield Township Fire Department, Saline Area Fire Department and Milan Area Fire Department. Sumpter Township firefighters covered the Augusta Township area while crews fought the blaze and Huron Valley Ambulance crews were on standby.
The first crews on scene put water on the propane tank in order to keep it cool and their quick arrival managed to keep the 1,000-gallon propane tank and 300-gallon diesel fuel tank from exploding.
Music said crews also managed to calm the fire around an excavator parked outside the barn that only suffered some scorched paint.
However, the large number of items inside the 60-foot-by-120-foot barn were not salvageable, Music said.
The building is owned by Szabo Farms and is a part of a complex of buildings on the sod farm, Music said. It was one of the largest buildings on the site and mainly was used for storage.
Inside the barn at the time of the blaze were multiple tractors, trucks, tools and other items that were being stored. Music said there was a large amount of straw bales in the back of the barn that had to be separated by an excavator in order to keep the fire down.
Initial estimates by Augusta Township Fire Chief Vic Chevrette put the damage caused by the fire to be somewhere between $800,000 and $1 million. Music said the owner of the building is doing an itemized list of things lost in the flames.
The blaze took between 45 minutes and an hour in order to get under control and crews were on scene for hours afterward for overhaul, Music said. He said several small explosions were heard inside the building and Music said there was a report of a large explosion before firefighters arrived.
No one was injured in the fire and the cause of the blaze is still under investigation by the Michigan State Police, but Music said there’s nothing that immediately pointed to the fire being suspicious.
“It’s still under investigation but we didn’t see anything that stuck out as suspicious,” he said.