PERRY TWP., Ohio (WTRF) – – On December 19 there multiple rural fire departments from the Tuscarawas and Harrison counties battled a barn fire that left numerous animals dead, according to a report by The TimesReporter.
Rush Township Volunteer Firefighters responded to a report of a fully engulfed barn at 1:09 p.m. Not long after they got on scene, other fire companies responded and reported that the barn was leveled.
Bill, Keeton, the homeowner and farmer who utilized the barn, told reporters that he was moving hay bales and went to his truck. The next time he turned around the barn was on fire. Family shared that Keeton turned 89 years old just a day before.
Keeton’s niece, Linda Conley, helped communicate with emergency agencies about the incident and Keeton’s son, Mike Stewart shared that his father is almost deaf.
There were animals in the barn, but the number and what were not immediately known, however Conley explained that Keeton’s three mules, which Keeton called his “three ponies”, died in the blaze.
The property has 15.3 acres, and was sold in 2004 to Keeton according to records at the Tuscarawas County Auditor’s website.
The Tuscarawas County Sheriff Department dispatchers were not able to give an exact account of each department that was involved due to the tremendous volume of call at the time.
According to Bob Koch, Freeport Fire Department chief who has been a firefighter for 46 years, rural fires and accidents can get complicated for a number of factors, mostly due to access affecting response times.
There were no human injuries reported. Authorities are still investigating the source of the fire.