Decatur County Fire and Rescue respond to intense barn fire in Fowlstown
Published 9:16 am Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Saturday afternoon saw Decatur County Fire and Rescue called out to the Fowlstown area, in response to a structure fire; specifically, the contents of a hay barn had caught on fire.
DCFR public information officer Tyler Dalton elaborated on the fire’s origin, saying, “They were doing some controlled burns on a brush fire, thought they had the fire out and went to go to another set of fields to set that brush fire. They looked back and noticed smoke coming out of the barn, and by the time they got over there to it, it had done gotten to the hay bails and set it on fire.”
Upon arrival, DCFR attempted to stop the fire from spreading to any more hay, but were forced out when the flames caused the barn to lose its structural integrity. Dalton and fire chief Charlie McCann both stated that the building was too damaged to be salvageable. “They’re gonna have to completely demolition it,” Dalton said.
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DCFR was forced to call on multiple volunteers from the region to help quell the blaze, including from Attapulgus, Brinson, Faceville, Recovery, Fowlstown, Climax, Mt. Pleasant and Blackjack. “We had everybody south of Bainbridge there,” Chief McCann said. There were 21 personnel total on scene.
Both McCann and Dalton gave advice on what to do in these sorts of situations. “The earlier we’re dispatched, the quicker we can get there to mitigate the situation. Hopefully we can prevent it from getting there,” Dalton said. “I know this year we’ve already had several brush fires that have gotten out and made it to a structure by the time we could get there, so yes, the earlier the notification we get, the better we are.”
“If they can try to put it out or try to keep it contained with a water hose or whatever before we can get there,” McCann said, “yes they can, but don’t put their life in danger.” Should a brush fire begin to spread towards a structure, Dalton instructed making sure the structure is evacuated before it reaches it.
The weather is believed to have played a role in recent fires. “The biggest thing has been… it’s just been so dry,” Dalton said. “With a fire, t takes 2.5 seconds and it’s running across somewhere else you didn’t plan for it to go. But with us getting some rain right now, we might be in good shape.”
Both men admonished anyone doing a controlled burn or brush fire, to not leave it unattended, as if it were to get out, they would receive a citation and be held responsible for the fire. They also thanked all the volunteers that came out to help on Saturday.