Hay barn destroyed in fire

March 6, 2015

woller fire -1By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

GRANT TWP. — A 6,000-square-foot hay storage barn was destroyed in a fire at Woller Shady Lanes Farm, at 4252 Flower Rd., Friday morning, March 6, and firefighters from Grant Township, Shelby-Benona and Montague departments were still on scene at 1 p.m., battling the raging fire in bitter cold and fierce winds.

No one was injured in the blaze, and no farm animals were injured, said Matt Woller, who owns the farm with his family. “It’s just hay,” he said.

Woller said he feels fortunate that no one was hurt. “Everything can be replaced. My dad (the late Dave Woller) always said, ‘You can replace barns and equipment, but you can’t replace human life.’”

woller fire -2Woller said he was inside the barn retrieving hay bales with his truck when a hydro line blew on the truck and caught fire. He drove the truck out of the barn and managed to put the truck fire out with snow. Inside the barn, the blaze was about the size of a large campfire, Woller said. He ran back to his house and grabbed some fire extinguishers, but by the time he got back, the barn’s roof had collapsed from the fire. “It was just too much,” he said.

When Grant Township Fire Chief Roland Brooks first arrived on scene, the 10-year-old barn was totally engulfed in fire. “The wind is factor,” Brooks said the scene. Also, the hay bales are fueling the blaze, he said.

woller fire -3The barn contained approximately 1,000-1,500 square bales, Woller said, and nearly 150 round bales. Damage is estimated at $100,000, and the barn is insured, he said.

An excavation company was slated to arrive at the scene at approximately 2 p.m.

The Woller farm produces hay, cattle, asparagus and row crops and has been in the family for 45 years.

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