Two separate fires take barn, house

A house and family pets and a barn and its contents were all lost in New Year’s Eve fires in Logan Township.

Buckland Volunteer Fire Department Chief Todd Vorhees said he expects both to be total losses from what he described as “two major fires.”

Patricia and John Joseph were displaced from their two-story home after it caught fire while they were gone Saturday night.

“When we arrived, fire was coming out the sides and venting into the garage,” Vorhees said of the home at 22242 Moulton-Fort Amanda Road, which they were called to by the homeowners when they returned home to find the blaze at 8:30 p.m.

“The first floor was fully engulfed,” Vorhees said.

The home is appraised at $102,000, according to the Auglaize County Auditor’s website.

The fire chief said the cause of the fire is unknown but it appears to have originated in the northeast corner of the home.

The American Red Cross was working with the Josephs, who lost two dogs and a cat to the fire, to find them a place to stay.

Cridersville, Spencerville, New Knoxville, Wapakoneta, St. Marys City and St. Marys Township fire departments assisted in fighting the fire.

An earlier blaze was reported at 7 a.m. at 07619 National Road, Wapakoneta. It was first reported by a passerby and moments later by resident Lowell Seibert.

Vorhees said the 60-foot by 80-foot barn was full of Seibert’s machinery.

“It was a big loss,” Vorhees said.

While he hadn’t come up with a total loss value yet Monday, Vorhees said it is estimated between $400,000 and $600,000.

Spencerville, Cridersville and New Knoxville fire departments assisted at the scene.

“The big thing we struggled with was having to lay the line down the 1,800-foot lane,” Vorhees said of water needed to put out the fire. “When we got there, the fire was venting out from the front and sides The guys did a nice job keeping it from getting to other things including a big semi nearby.”

The scene was cleared there at 11 a.m. with several hours spent cleaning equipment and a short

break before the fire Saturday night.

“The fire started in the northwest corner and we’re still looking into what may have caused it,” Vorhees said of the barn fire. “We don’t believe it’s suspicious.”

He said both fires have been reported to the Ohio State Fire Marshall’s Office as is required for all losses in excess of a certain dollar value.

“Our guys have been really busy since the 19th of November, these other departments have really helped us out,” Vorhees said of neighboring firefighters called to the scenes to help fight the blazes. “When we get the calls and get there, we are kind of behind the eight-ball already, which makes it hard.”

Buckland firefighters, who volunteer their time, put in 14 to 15 hours throughout New Year’s Eve.

Vorhees said holiday fires are tough on everyone, from the residents and owners to the firefighters and their families.