Lightning strike cause of Gordon Twp. fire

A lightning strike is being cited as the probable cause that destroyed a large farm implement shed owned by Murray Orford of Gordon Township this past Monday. PHOTO BY ISOBEL HARRY

GORDON—A lightning strike is being blamed as the probable cause of a fire that destroyed a large implement shed and the items contained in it, owned by Murray and Ruth Orford, of Gordon Township, this past Monday morning.

“We were first notified of the fire at 11:30 am,” said Mike Addison, fire chief of the Gore Bay volunteer fire department, on Monday evening. “We called the Billings volunteer fire department for mutual aid and they provided two trucks and some of the members of their fire department to help out.”

“It’s really hard to tell but it appears that the cause (of the fire) was a lightning strike,” said Mr. Addison. “People said they heard a big bang of thunder and a flash of lightning just before the fire occurred.”

A neighbour of Mr. Orford witnessed the fire from its beginning. She explained, “three young people came to my house, got out of their car and ran up my driveway and knocked on the door. They said my barn was on fire, but I don’t have a barn. I ran outside and saw Murray at the scene; his large shed was on fire.”

Mr. Addison noted there was no one injured in the blaze, no one was in the shed at the time of the blaze. “Murray was away at the time.”

“When we (firefighters) arrived on the scene the fire was fully involved,” continued Mr. Addison. “There was nothing we could do to try and save the building, so we set up to make sure the fire would not to the other building or house. Yes, there was a tractor and all kinds of equipment in the shed.”

Mr. Addison noted both fire departments worked together and eventually put out the blaze. “We reported to the fire at 11:30 am and our fire department was back in service by 4:30 pm.”

Mr. Orford noted that fortunately no one was inside the shed at the time of the fire. The shed is about 60×40 foot in size. He told the Recorder that among the items inside the shed that were lost in the blaze are a hay bine, bailer, John Deere tractor, square bailer, snowmobile, seed drill, a new boat and trailer, a wood splitter, welder and lumber.