LAGRANGE – Flames fed by three semi loads of hay and fanned by gusty winds roared through a 200 by 90 foot building west of Lagrange this morning.
The barn was going to be used to manufacture feed pellets starting today but the building and the equipment inside were a total loss.
LaGrange Fire Department Captain Matt Huffman said they got the call just before 5:30 from a passerby driving on U-S 20.
"When we first pulled up off of US 20 you really couldn't see a lot. You could see smoke, but as we got into the drive on the south side of the building you could see the flames coming out through the roof two-thirds of the way to the west. As we were getting a water supply established and getting hoses pulled off of the first truck we realized then that it was getting away way too fast and already started getting into the last section of the building."
Huffman said the burning hay was fanned by winds which began to gust.
"It came up pretty quick and it blew right through. We had our trucks set up on the east side and when the fire came through the front of the building it was like a blow torch."
Because of the size of the structure and the location nearly every fire department in Lagrange County responded with tankers to shuttle water from the west side of Lagrange. U-S 20 on the west side of town was shut down for awhile.
Close to 60 firefighters responded to the scene. No injuries were reported.
The building was owned by Wayne Yoder and was being leased by Sam Schrock.
The state fire marshal arrived on the scene late this morning and the cause remains under investigation.
(03-28-2020) Michigan coronavirus cases ramp up
(03-28-2020) Changes made at St. Joseph County Jail
(03-28-2020) Elkhart County launches COVID-19 info line
(03-27-2020) COVID-19 UPDATE: First cases reported in Lagrange County
(03-27-2020) Whitmer: Stay home order not up for debate
(03-27-2020) Price gouging: Another concern during uncertain times
(03-27-2020) A Letter from Elkhart County Elected Officials
(03-26-2020) COVID-19 update; food only for now at Clothes & Food Basket
(03-26-2020) Holcomb vetoes landlord-tenant bill
(03-26-2020) Lagrange native named NCHC Senior Scholar Athlete
(03-26-2020) Crash on Old US 20 sends three to hospital
(03-26-2020) Sturgis to pay employees, suspend disconnects, late fees
(03-26-2020) St. Joseph County will continue to pay employees
(03-26-2020) Hillsdale County has two more COVID-19 cases
(03-26-2020) LL softball fish fry postponed
(03-26-2020) LaGrange Co Council, Commissioners to confer Monday