PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
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    • Fire destroys barn, threatens home

    • Around 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 30 firefighters were called to a structure fire on SE 20th Avenue about two miles south of U.S. 54. Richard and Darrin Smith farm the land and Cherie Riffey lives in the house on the property. When firefighters arrived an old barn was fully engulfed in flames and had spread to nearby trees and dead grass. Tall dead cheat grass helped spread the fire. Near the fire were empty diesel fuel tanks, a propane tank and an oxygen acetylene cutting torch was in the barn but the tanks did not explode. Firefighters from Township 12, Iuka and Cullison combined to fight the blaze that gave off intense heat on a day when the temperatures were already hovering around 100 degrees. The firefighters surrounded the property and prevented the fire from spreading beyond the immediate area around the barn and trees. The wind pushed the fire away from the house and it was not damaged. The barn burned to the ground. Also destroyed in the barn was a1975 John Deere tractor and a small truck plus everything else in the barn. Because of the intense heat, firefighters rotated to give each other a break to cool down and get cold water. Pratt County EMS sent an ambulance to the site to provide a cool resting place for firefighters that got too hot. Several firefighters took advantage of the cool break. None of the firefighters was injured. The Cannonball Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross assisted at the site with extra water for the firefighters. It took a couple of hours to get the fire out and all the hot spots extinguished. 

      Posted Jul. 5, 2012