Fire destroys pole barn.

February 2, 2016

imageBy Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

COLFAX TOWNSHIP — A fast-moving fire ripped through a large pole barn Tuesday, Feb. 2, at 7812 E. Jackson Road, completely destroying the barn and several vehicles that were stored inside of it.

The barn, owned by Daniel Gorenflo, was insured and located approximately 300 feet from his home, Gorenflo said. “There are a lot of memories and a lot of hard work,” he said as he watched the debris smolder. His house and no other nearby structures were damaged. No one was injured.

imageWalkerville and Crystal Township fire departments were dispatched to the scene shortly after 11 a.m., said Walkerville Fire Captain Lance VanSickle. “It’s a total loss,” VanSickle said. Oceana County EMS was dispatched to the scene for standby.

About a dozen firefighters responded to the scene, and fire crews remained at the scene as of 1:30 p.m. An excavator was called in to make sure the fire was completely extinguished.

Mike Swihart of Walkerville said he called 911 when he saw the smoke. “It looked like a gigantic bon fire,” Swihart said. The fire apparently began in an outdoor heating unit near a wood pile next to the pole barn.

Several vehicles inside the pole barn were destroyed, including Swihart’s nephew, Russ Swihart’s plow truck, he said. “It had about three-quarters of a tank of diesel fuel,” Mike said.

“The roof caved in, and we started putting water on it,” VanSickle said. He estimated that there were approximately seven vehicles inside the barn, including Swihart’s plow truck, a car, three motorcycles, a dirt bike and an ATV. Gorenflo said there were several riding lawn mowers inside as well.

The building, which VanSickle estimated was 50 by 100 feet, had an upstairs loft.

Gorenflo said he received a call at work that his barn was on fire, and he quickly arrived at the scene.

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