Fulton County farmer injured in barn explosion
LEITERS FORD, Ind. -- A Fulton County man was seriously injured after his barn exploded. Since there were several flammable items in the barn, witnesses said the initial explosion set off several more explosions.
Black smoke could be seen for miles after a barn blew up in the small town of Leiters Ford. One of the two people inside the barn at the time of the explosion was rushed to an area hospital before being transfer ed to Fort Wayne's hospital for 2nd degree burns.
Jerry Burton and his wife Kathy said their farm has been in the family for years. "Just a lot of memories because my dad passed away 32 years ago, so it's just tough," said Jerry Burton.
Kathy Burton, who was home at the time, said she was shocked when she ran outside to see thick smoke and heavy flames tearing through their barn. "It was just one big boom and then it was like boom, Boom, boom, boom, one right after another".
The Burton's said the barn housed a semi-truck, fuel tanks and several tires. So, there was a chain reaction of explosions when Carl Overmyer, the farm's operator, tried to start up a tractor that, instead, burst into flames.
"He does all the farming. He takes care of it, all of his machinery and stuff was stored in that building," said Mr. Burton.
Somehow, Overmyer and his grandson were able to make out of the barn. Mrs. Burton said it was only Carl Overmyer that had any injuries. "When he took the watch off his arm that's when I could see that he had some serious burns and then to the side of his face. His hair was all singed".
The Burton's said they are thankfully Overmyer made it out of the barn alive and are happy to hear that he was awake and talking to nurses at the hospital.
Local firefighters said they called in a state fire marshal to conduct an investigation into the cause of the fire. So far, only the Overmyer has been able to offer up what he thinks happened. He believe a gas leak is what caused the tractor to suddenly explode.