Several area fire departments were called to Straughn Road in Ste. Genevieve County for a barn fire at 6:47 p.m. Monday evening that claimed the lives of several horses.
Wolf Creek Fire Chief Bart Mabry said there was a fire reported with horses inside and when they arrived three-quarters of the barn was engulfed in flames.
“We pulled the hoses and attacked the fire with a couple of hand lines using our water supply,” Mabry said. “We were able to put it out, but the barn was a complete loss and at least four horses didn’t make it. I know the family was pretty distraught about it.”
Mabry said it was a tough loss for them. The barn was 40 by 60 feet and it also had a bunch of square hay bales stored inside the barn.
“It took some extra time for us to get the fire completely out because of it,” Mabry said. “We were there until about 11 p.m. and there were 200-300 hay bales, we had to break them apart to get the fire out of the hay.”
He added the fire wasn’t suspicious and they though it was either electrical or had something to do with the box fans they were using to cool the animals.
“If anybody is using Lasko box fans they want to make sure they have a blue plug on them,” Mabry said. “The old fans just had a white cord and a white plug and they caused some issues, so they changed them to the blue ones.”
Mabry explained the plug changes were a safety precaution and they put a fuse in them for added protection. He said Lasko did that years ago and if you have one without the blue plug don’t use it.
“Not a lot of people know that and the family who had the fire weren’t sure which version of the fan they were using,” Mabry said. “There is just no way to tell at this point since everything burnt up in the fire. It’s just a fact a lot of people don’t know.”
According to Lasko, the plug contains a non-replaceable safety device, a fuse, which should not be removed or tampered with. To reduce the risk of fire, electric shock and personal injury, do not attempt to remove, replace, repair or tamper with the originally supplied plug. If the fan has stopped functioning, it may be due to the safety device incorporated in this plug.
Mabry added he did not feel they needed to contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Departments who assisted Wolf Creek with the blaze were Farmington, Doe Run, Big River, Park Hills and Weingarten Fire Departments. The Leadington Fire Department moved up to cover their firehouse while they were out on the scene.
Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or firstname.lastname@example.org