SPRING BAY—No one was hurt during a fire that destroyed a large barn owned by John and Joe Ann Lewis early last Sunday morning.
“I have no idea what started the fire,” stated Mr. Lewis at the scene of the blaze. “I had just left for 10 minutes, having gone next door to feed (livestock), and when I got back the whole barn was engulfed in flames.”
Mr. Lewis said the fire occurred at approximately 8 am.
Mr. Lewis explained he “lost 5,000 square bales of hay, but luckily all of my animals were all out in the field at the time.”
Central Manitoulin Volunteer Fire Chief John Reid told the Recorder that although there wasn’t definite determination as to what caused the blaze, “we think the cause was electrical, as there was power in the building.”
Along with the Central Manitoulin volunteer fire department, Mr. Reid said the Gore Bay-Gordon/Barrie Island Volunteer Fire Department had been called as well to respond, providing tanker truck fire support in putting the blaze out. “We performed a control burn on this fire,” the fire chief continued. “The (hay) mow was full, and we contained the outside of the building and kept the corner of the barn wet to keep the heat and flames away from the direction of the house. Everything had to be done right.”
Mr. Reid also pointed out the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) were on hand at the scene of the blaze providing crowd control while emergency medical services (EMS) ambulance personnel were also on hand at the fire scene. He also noted, “some nice ladies brought us a cooler of sandwiches, and we ordered a bunch more food as well from the Island Foodland (in Mindemoya).”
The destroyed barn was about 40×60 foot in size although it may have been even larger as an addition had been put on the building, while a new roof was constructed on the barn roof last fall.
The barn was built in the 1940-1950s time frame, said Mr. Lewis. He added, “it was a good thing the fire took place in the morning and not at night or it would have been a lot worse, with the northeast winds being much heavier Saturday night.”