These two calls give a good example of how much difference prompt discovery of a fire can make. In one someone was there to report the problem; in the other, no one was home when the fire broke out. Although a smoke detecter wasn't a factor in either case, they still show how important early detection is in making a difference -- so get that detector and check the battery!
Oh, also, don't drink and drive. (CBS cares.)
Four fire departments were needed to battle a barn fire near Wolcottville early Sunday -- along with police, who arrested a relative of the property owner after he allegedly almost ran down some firefighters.
The owners weren't home when flames broke out in a large barn on the Evers farm, at 3868 E 1150 N, according to the Noble County Sheriff's Department. Neighbors began noticing the fire at about 3:14 a.m., leading to several 911 calls, but by then the large wooden structure was engulfed in flames and radiant heat was threatening nearby outbuildings.
Orange Township and Johnson Township firefighters brought a full response to the scene, then called for water tankers from the Albion and Kendallville Fire Departments. Later Kendallville brought extra manpower, while Albion firefighters were called to their station for standby in case of another call. A Noble County EMS unit stood by at the scene; no injuries were reported, although two fire trucks were involved in a minor collision while water was being shuttled from hydrants in Wolcottville.
Firefighters were hampered by a live power line that burned through and fell to the ground, and by slippery conditions as temperatures hovered in the mid teens. State and County highway crews brought salt and sand to the area to handle ice that formed on pavement as a result on the tanker shuttle. NIPSCO linemen came in to cut power to the arcing electric line.
A more unusual threat came at about 4 a.m., when firefighters at the scene reported barely being missed by a 1995 Chevy that raced by them and stopped at the fire scene. Police detained the driver, 33 year old Scott A. Evers, then took him into custody after suspecting he may have been drinking.
Evers was charged with Operating While Intoxicated after his blood alcohol level was allegedly measured at .27%, well over three times the legal limit for driving. He was also cited on a charge of failure to yield to emergency personnel and taken to the Noble County Jail, where he was held on bond.
The fire was declared under control at 4:52 a.m., but firefighters were unable to get underneath the collapsed roof and damaged walls to fully extinguish the smoldering blaze. The last fire truck cleared the scene at about 9 a.m., after the owners decided to let the remains continue to burn. Orange Township firefighters came back out at around 7:35 p.m. that evening when the fire flared up, but no further damage was reported. A large amount of hay was reported destroyed in the blaze, but firefighters were able to protect the other structures nearby.
A fire was caught and extinguished before it could destroy a barn near Albion Friday.
Welding sparks apparently caused the fire, in a large metal barn at 1184 N 25 W, according to the Noble County Sheriff's Department. Albion firefighters were called at 8:40 a.m. after the sparks ignited insulation, causing a smoldering fire that firefighters had to track down and extinguish. Damage was estimated at around $1,000 or less, and no injuries were reported.
Four fire units responded to the call, returning to service within an hour. The Churubusco Fire Department was placed on standby as a precaution, but wasn't needed at the scene.
Albion firefighters were also called out later that afternoon, when a fire alarm went off at Central Noble High School. The school staff evacuated the building when the alarm went off at about 3:19 p.m., but no fire was found, and the alarm was apparently caused by a faulty smoke detector.