Fire that destroyed Manchester barn was arson, officials say

November 05, 1997|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A Manchester barn filled with 2,300 bales of hay and straw was destroyed by arson Monday, fire officials said yesterday. The loss was estimated at $75,000.

A neighbor returning from work discovered the blaze in the 2200 block of Ebbvale Road at 10: 52 p.m. and awakened Willard Dell, the owner, said Robert B. Thomas Jr., deputy state fire marshal.

The two-alarm fire, which was controlled in an hour by about 75 firefighters from Manchester, Lineboro, Hampstead and Westminster, began on the first floor of the 30-by-60-foot structure, Thomas said.

No one was injured, and an investigation is continuing, he said.

Dell, 76, said another barn near his house was destroyed by arson 10 years ago.

Firefighters were asked to let the barn continue burning Monday night because "it was nearly gone anyway, and letting it burn would help in cleaning up the mess," Dell said.

Hay and straw stored in the barn were harvested from his land to feed 140 cattle, he said.

"This is a bad year -- with the drought and all -- to have to buy hay for feed," Dell said.

He said his livestock would need shelter this winter.

"After we talk to the insurance company, we'll probably put up something as a shelter, but we haven't decided what we'll do yet," he said.

Pub Date: 11/05/97

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