News

Norwich Township fire destroys 1,700 hay bales

By Jonathan Juha, Postmedia News

A Quonset hut caught on fire Sunday night, destroying nearly 1,700 bales of straw on a cattle farm on Beaconsfield Road, west of Highway 59. (Photo courtesy of Mason Schneider)

A Quonset hut caught on fire Sunday night, destroying nearly 1,700 bales of straw on a cattle farm on Beaconsfield Road, west of Highway 59. (Photo courtesy of Mason Schneider)

Approximately 1,700 bales of straw were burnt, causing $200,000 in damages, after a Quonset hut on a cattle farm on Beaconsfield Road, west of Highway 59 near Burgessville, caught fire Sunday night.

No one was injured during the blaze, and there were no livestock losses either.

The fire, which Norwich Township fire Chief Paul Groeneveld described as “significant,” was reported to the authorities at around 9:20 p.m. Groeneveld indicated the blaze was caused by spontaneous combustion.

Burgessville firefighters arrived shortly after to the scene and didn’t leave the scene until 4 p.m. Monday. Units from the Oxford Centre, Norwich, Otterville and Mt. Elgin fire halls were deployed to help control the blaze.

Neither the owners nor workers on the farm wanted to comment.

Mason Schneider, 17, was the first person to notice the fire.

He said he was driving home on Highway 59 towards Woodstock when he noticed the flames from afar.

"You could see the flames from a fair distance," he said.

Schneider then decided to alert one of the neighbours in the area, who called 9-1-1, and then went to the farm owner’s home to let them know about the fire.

“I went to tell the farmer that their coverage barn was on fire because where their house is situated they can’t see their back barn,” he said.

OPP Const. Stacey Culbert wrote in an e-mail the Oxford OPP wasn’t investigating the incident, as the fire wasn’t deemed suspicious.