Homeowner was trying to chase out rodents with propane torch, catching hay bales on fire

PHOTO COURTESY OF COLUMBIA RIVER FIRE AND RESCUE - Columbia River Fire and Rescue crews responded to a barn fire in Goble on June 27 when more than 100 bales of hay burned, spreading to the barn where the bales were stored. The homeowner was trying to exterminate rats with a propane torch when it caused hay stored nearby to catch fire. A homeowner trying to exterminate rats started a fire last week that caused damage to more than 100 bales of hay and a newly built barn.

Columbia River Fire and Rescue crews responded to the 68000 block of Wasser Road in Goble, Wednesday night, June 27, after a barn fire was reported in the area.

When crews arrived just after 5 p.m. they discovered a 20-by-20 barn on fire. The barn was full of hay.

The barn's owner was trying to get rid of a rodent infestation by pouring propane into holes where rats were living and then lighting the propane on fire to exterminate them. The hay bales, which were nearby, caught fire during the process, a CRFR press release explained.

The owner of the barn used a tractor to move some of the smoldering hay bales so firefighters could put out all the flames, which had spread through the bales. More than 100 bales were burned. The barn, which had been newly constructed according to information from CRFR, was also damaged.

Damages were estimated at about $1,000. No injuries were reported.

A total 16 firefighters, a medic, three fire engines and three water tenders responded to the blaze. Clatskanie Fire District also assisted by providing a water tender.

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