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August 14, 2018 • Headline News
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Barn fires keep area firefighters busy

Pictured are firemen working to extinguish a barn fire at the Shawn Dilk residence off Cave Hill Road. Versailles firemen also responded to a fire outside of Pierceville.

Wanda English Burnett


Two barn fires in as many days saw many firefighters battling not only the flames, but the heat and humidity felt in Ripley County last week.

The first fire was Wednesday, August 8 and was located between Pierceville and Milan at the Keith Ellison residence, 3465 N. CR 450 E Milan. According to information from Randy Ison, fire chief for the Milan Volunteer Fire Department, the barn was fully engulfed in flames when they were called. They responded in a short time also with help from the Versailles and Delaware fire departments.

Chief Ison said no one was hurt in the fire, and it wasn’t a suspicious fire in nature. However, it was a total loss with the homeowner losing tractors, quad runners, hay, and even antique tractors, among other possessions. “Everything was melted down to the metal,” Ison told the Osgood Journal. He said the other fire departments were toned out through a protocol of dispatch when there is a fire of that magnitude and particularly since it was close to the house.

The second fire was Thursday, August 9 around 2:33 in the afternoon at the residence of Shawn Dilk, 4480 South Cave Hill Road, Versailles. According to Ben Sieverding, fire chief for the Versailles Fire and Rescue, he said the barn was fully engulfed upon their arrival.

Versailles responded with two engines, a tanker, brush truck, rescue truck and a command vehicle. Friendship Fire Dept. was requested to respond with tankers and manpower along with Milan VFD for tanker and manpower. Osgood also responded with a tanker.

Rescue 69 was on the scene for EMS standby as they do when fires occur. A Versailles firefighter was transported to Margaret Mary Hospital where he was treated and released.

According to Chief Sieverding, Napoleon Volunteer Fire Department also responded due to the heat and humidity. With many of the local departments at one scene, Aurora Fire Resuce provided fire protection for the Versailles area during the incident. Firefighters were on the scene until nearly 7:30 that evening.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

What many people might not realize, is when the fire departments are on the scene and have used their arsenal of tools, there is a lot of time involved in getting everything back in order for the next time they are needed. A fire that might take two hours to get under control, will often find the firemen working another four hours getting their equipment back in shape to go again. Volunteers are needed at almost any fire department across Ripley County. If you are interested, check with them at their respective fire stations on Monday nights, when most meetings are held, unless they’re out at a fire.

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