A Penn Township barn is a “total loss” after a fire began while a man was mixing feed for his cows, according to Millheim Fire Company Chief Delmer Homan.
The fire at David J. Stoltfus’ barn began at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday and firefighters were able to gain control of the fire after about three hours. About 10 fire companies from four counties, Penns Valley EMS and Fetterolf Excavating responded to the fire at 221 Long Lane.
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“This was a large barn and had two hay bales completely full at each end of the barn,” Homan said. “The only way you can get that out is actually take everything out of the barn and, you know, hose it down as you’re doing that.”
Stoltfus was in one of his three silos for about 15 minutes after he was done milking the cows while the mixing cart was running, according to Homan.
When he came down, the fire was “all around the cart” in the feeding room and “got into the hay” before the corner of the barn eventually caught fire.
Stoltfus and the cows were the only ones in the barn at the time. He freed the cows from the stall barn after calling 911 and none were injured, according to Homan.
Fire companies ran out of water “for a short period of time,” according to Homan, but that did not hinder their ability to save the barn because it was fully engulfed in flames when they arrived.