Firefighters battle a barn fire in Lakeville
LAKEVILLE, Ind. -- A large fire near a house in Lakeville had dozens of trucks from departments across the area scrambling to help put it out. It happened on Thursday around 12:30 p.m. on Stanton Road.
ABC57 was first on the scene as flames tore through a workshop holding treasured collectibles belonging to the homeowner.
The homeowner didn't want to go on camera, but told ABC57 that 62 years worth of collectibles went up in flames, including an 1850 Oliver Tractor worth over $7,000!
What had firefighters worried were the propane tanks inside and around the shop.
Flames tore through the barn in minutes, and the homeowner had just left.
Chief Terry Korpal of the Southwest Central Fire Territory said, “He said he was out there doing some things, puttering around. He came in the house, looked outside, and saw his barn was on fire, He came out and called us. By the time we got out here, it was pretty much fully engulfed."
The big concern at first was a huge propane tank next to the barn and a handful of smaller tanks inside.
"We just pretty much kept the propane tanks cool. We knew we were going to lose that building, so we just pretty much went defensive. We weren't going to put anybody in there with this much fire and those tanks,” said Chief Korpal.
They kept the big tank cool, but the smaller ones inside went up with a bang.
"There are probably five or six that exploded. Some of the shrapnel ended up in the field next door. It was nothing that injured anybody, and it wasn't a problem," said Chief Korpal.
But, the leaking gas kept causing flames to flare up. It took the department nearly an hour and a half to get the fire under control.
"You would just see flare ups from the tanks, from those propane tanks then you'd get a burst of flame until that gas burnt off,” said Chief Korpal.
After a fight that exhausted the dozens of firefighters who responded, the flames were gone and the clean up started.
Firefighters still don't know what started the fire. Neither do the homeowners.
It took quite a while to get the scene cooled down so investigators could go inside.
The good news is that nobody was hurt.
Check out the photo slideshow as the fire progressed and firefighters responded.