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Wednesday, March 13th, 2019

Loss set at $1M in large barn fire

By Tom Stankard
FORT RECOVERY - The Monday fire that fully engulfed and destroyed the large barn at Wenning Farm is estimated to have caused about $1 million in damage.
Southwest Mercer Fire District Chief Kim Day told the newspaper on Tuesday that a semitrailer, a forklift, a digester, equipment and about 20 containers of cooking oil for the digester, a generator, sugar and empty pallets also were destroyed inside the 200-foot-by-400-foot barn. No animals were kept there.
If the wind had not been blowing in a southwesterly direction, the damage could have been much worse as the blaze likely would have spread, Day said.
The cause of the fire is still undetermined, but Day said foul play is not suspected. A representative from the owner's insurance company and the state fire marshal are investigating the cause.
A passerby reported the blaze at 1500 Union City Road and the Southwest Mercer Fire District responded at 2:50 a.m. with mutual aid from Burkettsville and St. Henry fire departments.
By the time firefighters arrived at the scene, Day said the barn was fully engulfed. Thirty-nine firefighters with 11 trucks responded and were at the scene until 10 a.m. to make sure the blaze didn't spread.   
Firefighters returned to the scene on Tuesday to extinguish remaining hot spots.
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