Blaze destroys chicken house
WELLMAN—On Sunday, June 16, a fire northwest of Wellman at 1226 Fir Ave., which was the Richard and Rhoda Beachy farm, had smoke visible from as far away as Riverside.
The call about the fire came into the Washington County communications center at 4:05 p.m, according to the Washington County communications call log. A caller reported their chicken house (the egg room area) was full of smoke.
At 4:11 p.m., another call came in to say the structure was fully engulfed in flames, the call log said. Wellman QRS, Wellman Fire, Keota Fire, Kalona Fire, and South English Fire all responded to the scene.
“It was a pretty good-sized building that was on fire,” said Wellman assistant fire chief Jared Kinsinger.
Kinsinger did not say how big the building was but said the building was a total loss.
There were concerns about the health of the firemen fighting the fire Sunday because of yesterday’s high temperature and humidity, Kinsinger said. When a fireman is fighting a fire in full gear, they can get very warm.
“We kept rotating guys out,” Kinsinger said. “We had the ambulance on standby out there so they could check the guys out to make sure their blood pressure was OK.”
Another thing the fire departments dealt with was trying to keep the other buildings from catching on fire, he said.
“There were some concerns about the other buildings,” Kinsinger said. “The main concern was the building to the north of the barn. We sprayed it down to keep it cool and to keep it from catching on fire, too.”
The effort of spraying down the buildings was helped by Keota Fire Department’s ladder truck, Kinsinger said. There were also several tanker trucks on scene taking water to the fire.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, he said.
The Beachys could not be reached for comment.