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Four alarm barn fire burns building to the ground

SYRACUSE, Ind.-- A large fire in Syracuse burned a family's barn to the ground on Tuesday.

The flames started just before 10:00 a.m. on the corner of County Road 48 and County Road 33 in Elkhart County.

"It's a little exciting at times, but you stop to think-- the Lord gives and the Lord takes away," said barn owner, Walter Steffen.

Steffen and his family have lived on their 80 acres of farmland for 56 years. But on Tuesday, Steffen said the Lord took away.

"We were just through with breakfast and getting ready to go in to Goshen to run some errands," said Steffen. "And two pick up trucks came into the driveway and they were all excited and they said, 'your barn is on fire.'"

ABC 57 News talked to one of the first witnesses who said he was driving past the barn when he noticed smoke coming out of a haystack next to the barn. He was the first to call 911.

"They said they'd try to get out as quick as they could," explained Steffen. "There were four different departments that came out then to work on it."

The barn was filled with tools, machinery and hay- all of which was destroyed in the blaze. But, for Steffen, the biggest loss is a vintage Mercedes-Benz.

"It's an '83 and we lost that," said Steffen. "But it may be restored, I'm not too sure."

This isn't the first fire the Steffen family has had to endure. In the winter of 1995, the Steffens' barn also burned.

"We just got to clean up the mess we got here somehow or other. And maybe put up another barn, I don't know. Since we've lost two of 'em already I don't know whether to put another one up or not."

But despite the loss and mess, the Steffen family is staying positive.

"It's something that happened, we don't know why but we just take it from there and go-just be thankful for our blessings that no one got hurt or burned or anything."


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