Fire destroys Fountain barn and trailer

April 7, 2013


By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

FOUNTAIN — Five fire departments battled a fire north of the village this afternoon. Fountain Area and Free Soil/Meade fire departments were called to the Bob Peters and Marie Chellis residence, 5514 N. Poplar Road, around 5 p.m. for a pole barn fire. The barn and a single-wide unoccupied mobile home were fully engulfed in flames.

20130407-174622.jpg“I was out there just 15 minutes before the fire,” Bob Peters said, watching the fire from his house, about 70 feet away. “I came back into the house, went into the basement and was on the telephone. I then went out into the living room and Marie told me the barn was on fire. When I looked out the window flames were 30 to 40 feet in the air.”

20130407-174005.jpgPeters said he built the barn in 1972. It contained many items, most them he will not be able to replace. The building was insured but the contents were not. He said he didn’t think he had enough insurance to cover the true value of the building.

Fountain Fire Chief Roger Berndt said he was at a training at the Custer fire station, located about 7 miles away. “When I walked out of the building I could see the black smoke. I knew it was gone,” Berndt said. He immediately called for more manpower and had Branch Fire Department paged out. He then requested tanker trucks from Custer and Grant fire departments along with the Mason County Rural Fire Authority’s air trailer, which is manned by Custer Fire Dept. Over 30 personnel were on scene but the building and its contents were a total loss.

Peters said he didn’t know how the fire could have started.



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