Farmer hopes silo fire finally is out

October 30, 1994|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Sun Staff Writer

A 68-year-old dairy farmer, who has farmed land on Sams Creed Road near New Windsor and the Frederick County line for more than 46 years, has suffered his first -- and he hopes his last -- silo fire, he said during a long cleanup project Friday.

Rauland Roop of the 4200 block of Sams Creek Road said the fire was discovered in the 80-foot silo at 4:42 p.m. Oct. 11. Firefighters from New Windsor, Union Bridge, Winfield, Harney and Westminster pinpointed the blaze at the ninth-door level of the 21-door silo.

The storage structure held 1,600,000 pounds of alfalfa and rye hay to feed Mr. Roop's 160-head dairy herd. He also feeds more than 400 young dairy and beef cattle.

The silo can hold about 1,000 tons of silage, he said.

At 8:15 a.m. Oct. 12, a neighbor noticed smoke coming from the silo, and the fire companies returned and spent six hours extinguishing the fire.

On Friday, farm workers arrived to milk the cattle at 2:49 a.m. and discovered the fire had reignited. The fire department was called again.

Firefighters spent more than four hours battling the blaze, which created a 12-foot-by-8-foot cavity in the tightly packed silage.

After the firefighters left. Mr. Roop was in the silo trying to prevent another flare-up, covered with soot. Smoke continued to rise from the silo.

"We are blessed to have such great firefighters to come when held is needed," Mr. Roop said. "They are a great bunch of guys."

He said the next step is to transfer the silage into another silo, a slow process. He said a farmer with a smaller silo in the area had a fire several years ago and it took about two weeks of pumping 24 hours a day to complete the transfer.

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