Barn burns down in Ladd Hill area, crews prevent its spread
A barn in the Ladd Hill area southeast of Newberg burned and collapsed Sunday afternoon, with multiple 9-111 calls coming in to Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue as the structure became engulfed in flames.
The farm is located near the junction of Wilsonville and Edminston roads. When firefighters from Kinsman Road Station 52 in Wilsonville arrived around 2 p.m., they described a "large column of smoke" emanating from the area. The blaze was immediately upgraded to a second alarm and addition resources were dispatched to the scene, according to a release from TVF&R.
TVF&R Public Information Officer Kim Haughn said no animals were in the barn, but cows grazing in a nearby field began to walk toward the fire while crews were on their way.
Crews arrived at the farm and discovered the barn had already collapsed and was completely ablaze, but the fire had not yet spread to nearby structures. The firefighters employed what the release characterized as "aggressive fire attack methods" to battle the blaze, but had to shuttle water to the scene due to the rural location of the fire and the lack of hydrants. Wilsonville Road was also closed briefly in order to avoid any interruption of the effort.
In all, the ground- and air-based firefighting operation lasted 45 minutes and the crew prevented the fire from spreading beyond the already smoldering structure. The firefighting effort was made more difficult by the amount of hay in the barn, officials said, which served as tinder for the massive blaze that took down the barn. The owner of the property provided assistance with an excavator in order to help extinguish much of the hay.
Due to warm temperatures, there was a constant rotation of firefighters to prevent them from overheating during the operation. One firefighter dealt with heat-related issues, the release said, and was transported to a nearby hospital as a precaution, but is expected to fully recover.
The cause of the fire is under investigation and the barn area was deemed too dangerous to investigate on Sunday. Investigators were expected to begin work earlier this week.
"Because the barn collapsed on the hay, it was too dangerous for us to access it," Haughn said. "The investigator will work over a few days to see if he can uncover the cause."
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