Fire destroys barn


RUSSIA — Fire destroyed a barn and about 200 bales of straw inside it Friday at 200 Kelch Road.

Russia Fire Chief Mark Shappie said the large barn and the approximately 200 round bales of straw inside it were a total loss. The cause of the fire and the dollar loss have not been determined, he said. The property is owned by Douglas and Brenda Schmitmeyer.

Shappie said the fire was spotted by a passerby, who went to a rental home on the property and told the residents. Firefighters were called to the blaze at 5:18 p.m.

Shappie said the building, which he described as “an old-style, bank barn,” was “fully engulfed” in flames when firefighters arrived. Realizing they would not be able to save the barn, firefighters “protected exposures,” he said. There were two other barns nearby, but they were not damaged.

The barn contained only straw, Shappie said, no livestock or farm equipment. No one was injured in the fire.

Firefighters remained on the scene about seven hours Friday night and returned Saturday when the fire rekindled, Shappie said.

In addition to the Russia Fire Department, firefighters from Houston, Fort Loramie, Covington, Versailles and Bradford, along with Houston Rescue, responded to the fire.

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