Antique vehicles were among many items destroyed in a Green Township structure fire Saturday. No one was injured in the blaze, which broke out on property owned By William Johnson at 0434 E 200 S, according to the Noble County Sheriff's Department.
Smoke was seen coming from the sixty by sixty foot metal building at about 11:50 a.m., and flames quickly spread to engulf the entire structure, which was reportedly unoccupied at the time. The cause of the incident remains under investigation.
A 1967 Ford Mustang, 1953 Ford Pickup, and a 2000 F350 pickup were all inside the building at the time. Also reportedly inside were an antique tractor and lawn mowers, and a large amount of other equipment. The building was engulfed in flames when firefighters from Albion, Churubusco, and Noble Township arrived, with the roof already collapsing.
Several explosions were reported at the scene as fire trucks approached, some from rupturing propane tanks. One large fireball was believed to have resulted from the explosion of a drum of racing fuel, while tanks from an oxygen/acetylene torch, oil drums, and other, smaller containers also reportedly ruptured. Fire spread to grass around the area.
The fire was declared under control after about 25 minutes. Metal roofing and walls fell onto the burning interior, so responders called heavy equipment from Jack Owen Excavating to move the metal, allowing the fire to be completely extinguished. Units remained on the scene until about 2:50 p.m.
Water tankers from the Avilla and Thorn Creek Fire Departments also responded. About 40 firefighters manning a dozen trucks came to the scene, while two Orange Township Fire trucks were relocated to Albion for standby. Kendallville firefighters stood by at the Avilla fire station.
Also assisting were the Noble County Sheriff's Department, Noble County EMS, Albion Fire Department Auxiliary, and Noble REMC.
Pics of the fire attack:
That lump of metal off to the right used to be a 1953 Ford pickup. Can't you tell?
Couldn't say if the bike was an antique.
Don't underestimate the power of a falling roof, especially if there's a garage door hanging from it. The truck was being worked on at the time, making this a possible area of origin.
55 gallon oil drums being used as a desk, propane tanks sitting between oxygen and acetylene tanks ... good times. The empty drums were actually more of a hazard than the full ones (except for the racing fuel). Oil has a high flash point; the full drums swelled from the heat, but probably wouldn't have exploded. But empty drums are full of fumes, which cause very nice explosions, thank you.
Just for fun, a view from inside the burned building, looking out. Actually, it wasn't that much fun.