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Blaze destroys farm shed, requires large-scale response to control

A blazing tractor is the likely cause of a storage shed fire Wednesday afternoon at a farm north of Elmira that eventually drew firefighters from seven stations.

The fire was called in around 12:30 p.m. from the Reid Woods Drive location. The shed was completely destroyed, with damage pegged at $350,000.

Officials suspect the fire started by an electrical short in a tractor that had had been brought into shed to be washed.

“They had a tractor in there that they had washed down earlier in the morning and around noon when they went back out the tractor was on fire, which was inside the building so they couldn’t get it out anymore because the fire had gone too far,” said Dale Martin, Woolwich Township’s fire chief. “It was a bit of probably an electrical short from when they were washing it.”

Crews from Floradale, Elmira, St. Jacobs, Conestogo, St. Clements, Linwood and Waterloo responded to the seven alarm fire. The large response was needed not only to fight the spread of the fire, but to shuttle in water via a series of tanker trucks due to the lack of hydrants or other water supply at the rural property.

The storage shed, placed directly behind the home and in adjacent with a livestock barn, housed a sawmill, kiln, lumber, hay, and farm equipment.

“It was a storage shed and it had a bit of a sawmill in it, so there was wood stored inside. They dried the wood, so there was a kiln inside along with a lot of lumber and farm equipment was stored there, a bit of hay and they had the tractor,” said Martin.

Although firefighters were able to contain the fire from demolishing any other structures, the heavy wind spread fire to two other buildings.

“We did have a fire in the barn which we were fortunate enough to knock down , there were two other buildings on fire too but we had put out,” said Martin. “Our worry was the house and the barn because of the amount of wind we had.”

Crews were fighting the fire until 8 p.m. Wednesday evening.

By the next morning, work was already underway to clear the site and prepare to replace the building.

For initial story: Barn Fire

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