Subscribe to get tough, fair journalism seven days a week.
Subscribe today

Suspicious blaze razes barn

Submitted by Keizer Fire District

A 5,000-square-foot barn at 7196 River Road N. was destroyed by a fire Sunday, Sept. 12.

Witnesses at the scene said they spotted juveniles in the vicinity of the structure shortly before first reports of fire, but those accounts have not yet been confirmed, said Fire Marshal Joel Stein, of Keizer Fire District.

The fire was reported at 4:22 p.m. and KFD crew arrived at the scene within five minutes to find heavy black smoke coming from both ends of the building. Two minutes later, before hoses could be deployed, the building was entirely engulfed in flames.

Water supplies to the area were limited and had to be brought in by tanker trucks. The building was deemed a loss nearly from the outset and fire crews turned their attention to protecting a nearby structure.

“From that point very little water was used on the [barn],” Stein said.

The barn was mostly vacant limiting losses to the structure itself, which was valued at $5,000, he added. The barn was built around 1925 and the nearby structure had formerly been used to dry wheat.

There were no reported injuries to the approximately 35 firefighters on the scene. Keizer Fire District was assisted by units from Marion County Fire District #1 and Salem Fire Department. In all, nine units were on scene and stood watch over the smoldering barn to ensure it was fully extinguished.