SALEM, Ohio – A fire June 15 destroyed an equipment-storage barn and much of the equipment at a Mahoning County produce farm.
The official cause of the fire at Gasper’s Garden in Greenford has not been determined, but the farm’s owners think they know what started the blaze.
Sparks. According to Mary Ann Gasper, her husband, Paul Gasper, made round bales earlier that day and left three sitting outside the barn.
“He figured the baler threw a spark in one of the bales,” she said.
Paul was home when the fire started around 10 p.m., but he and a friend were sitting on a porch that faces away from the barn.
“They didn’t notice it until the sky got red behind them,” Gasper said.
The Gaspers grow 60-70 acres of fruits and vegetables on their W. South Range Road farm.
Lost. The family hasn’t received an estimate on damages, but Gasper said tractors, sprayers, trucks, vegetable equipment and a new grain drill were lost. The drill was uninsured.
“We don’t even have a shovel,” Gasper said.
The arrival of fire crews was delayed because W. South Range Road is closed, according to Gasper.
All that’s left. The roof and large back door of a nearby barn were damaged by the fire, but the building was not lost, thanks to a neighbor with a garden hose.
Gasper said the only equipment not damaged or destroyed is four tractors, one sprayer, one planter and a Bobcat that were stored in other places around the farm. The farm’s irrigation equipment was in the fields and unaffected by the fire, but the tractor that runs it was lost.
There was no crop damage, although several hay bales also burned.
The Green Township Volunteer Fire Department responded to the fire. A representative from the department was unavailable for comment.
(Reporter Janelle Skrinjar welcomes feedback by phone at 800-837-3419, ext. 22, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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