Barn Fire Burns $350,000 Worth of Equipment, Kills 25 Calves


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Clouds of smoke, burnt equipment, and everything in ashes is all that remains at a portion of Rocky Spring Farm, where a barn fire occurred early Saturday morning. Crews were at the scene for about seven hours until the fire was contained enough for the owner to handle. However, early Sunday morning, the fire kicked up again due to wind.

"We left yesterday, it was well under control, and he (the owner) was going to handle it," said Jason Kuehler, assistant chief at Franklin Fire Company. "We obviously told him that if it flared back up, as it did, to call us. We would come back out and set up operations and take care of it again."

Cars disappeared into smoke off of Funk Road. The fire initially started because the hay barrels were packed too tight, and the heat caused a combustion. The owner said he left for church Sunday around 9 a.m. and everything was under control. When he came back around 11:30 a.m., the hay caught fire again. Officials say about 23 to 25 calves were lost in the fire along with about $350,000 in equipment.

"I believe he lost a couple tractors, some trailers, farm equipment and such that was stored in the barn," Kuehler said. "Along with some hay and feed that was also in there."

The owner said the calves were going to be raised for dairy milk. Officials say he's lucky he didn't lose more.

"The first engine officer made a decision to protect the exposure," Kuehler said. "By him making that decision, we were able to save the exposure building."

Officials say they see fires like this one start back up again due to certain conditions.

"It's very common for a facility of this size and magnitude, with what they had stored, to have those hot spots come back out and be hit again," Kuehler said.

Volunteers will be at the scene on Tuesday to help clean up the area.

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