MURRAY – About 10 acres of harvested tobacco were lost Saturday night when a tobacco barn on Billy Paschall Road caught fire, Calloway County Fire-Rescue Capt. Mike Holt said Sunday.
Holt said the call came in at approximately 7:47 p.m. Saturday. The first truck arrived within about five minutes, and the rest were on scene within about 10 minutes of the call, Holt said. He said 10 trucks and 17 firefighters were on the scene, and personnel remained there for about 2 1/2 hours. The owner of the property told them that about 10 acres worth of tobacco were hanging inside the barn that was destroyed.
“Once we got there, it was already fully engulfed,” Holt said. “There was nothing we could do about that barn. We had to just wet it and protect the other barn that was nearby.”
Although it was a big loss for the farmer, Holt said CCFR managed to prevent much more tobacco and property from being lost. He said the farmer told the crews that another 10 acres of tobacco were hanging in the barn nearest to the one that burned, and since firefighters were successful in preventing the spread, Holt said a large amount of inventory had likely been saved.
“We were out there about 2 1/2 hours; not too long,” Holt said. “Once we got that barn contained where the fire would stay inside the barn, the barn fell into itself. We were happy with that because we could have been out there all night trying to put it completely out. The farmer said he would watch it, and we were sure the fire wasn’t going to spread because of the way we had it knocked down. So we went ahead and left and let the other part just burn out itself. We didn’t have to return and we didn’t have to stay – we could have probably been there for five or six more hours trying to put it completely out (if it hadn’t been contained).”
Holt added that CCFR could always use more help, so if anyone is interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter, they are encouraged to stop by Station 1 on Sycamore Street and pick up an application.