Fire destroys industrial garage in Buffalo

Eight fire departments were called to the metal barn to fight the blaze in the unseasonably warm weather

April 13, 2014
Claysville firefighters work to control a blaze that destroyed an industrial garage on Route 40 in Buffalo Township Sunday afternoon. - Mike Jones / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

Firefighters faced unseasonably warm temperatures and gusting winds Sunday afternoon as they battled a blaze that destroyed a large industrial garage in Buffalo Township.

The metal barn filled with construction equipment was engulfed in flames about 2:15 p.m. Sunday, prompting a response from eight departments to fight the ferocious fire, Claysville fire Chief David Hilderbrand said.

It took crews about an hour to control the blaze and they continued to douse hotspots that periodically rekindled the fire. All that remained after was twisted metal and a concrete skeleton near the front of the metal barn. Firefighters were able to prevent the blaze from spreading to a nearby structure even with gusting winds fueling the fire.

Michels Pipeline rented the property at 4340 National Pike for about three years and used it to store construction equipment and materials. Danny Vincent, a construction manager for Michels at its South Franklin headquarters, said the company kept mostly construction equipment and materials inside the structure, but could not estimate the financial loss.

He said they made several vandalism reports at the property in recent weeks and filed multiple complaints to local authorities about teenagers playing inside the barn.

Hilderbrand said it was too early to determine the cause of the fire and the state police fire marshal was on scene investigating.

Crews from Taylorstown, West Alexander, North Franklin, South Franklin, Canton and West Finley assisted Claysville at the scene. Washington firefighters brought their ladder truck to douse the blaze from above.

Hilderbrand said the large response was because of the difficulty in fighting the large fire in unusually warm temperatures that reached the mid-80s. No injuries were reported.

“We just called them in for extra manpower because of the heat,” Hilderbrand said. “All in all, everyone’s feeling pretty good.”

The fire rekindled shortly before 7 p.m. and emergency responders returned to the scene to douse hotspots.

Washington County property records show the property was owned by Thomas S. Antion. He could not immediately be reached comment on the fire. Nearby residents said Walker’s Truck & Equipment Repairs used the property about 10 years ago.

Mike Jones has been a news reporter since 2005, covering crime, state and municipal government, education and energy. In addition to working at the Observer-Reporter, he also has spent time at the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail and He holds a journalism degree from West Virginia University.

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