Candor barn fire Jan. 22, 2012: Candor barn fire Jan. 22, 2012
Fire destroyed a barn Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012 north of the Village of Candor on Route 96. / DAVE BOHRER / STAFF PHOTO
CANDOR -- Danby Fire Chief John Gaden has dealt with his fair share of fires. But when he looks back over the last few months, Sunday's barn fire in Candor sticks out, he said.
"It was a serious fire," he said. "We had a house fire in November where the house was totally lost and this ranks right up there with it."
Firefighters from Candor and several other companies, including Danby, Spencer, Owego, Newark Valley, Brooktondale and Van Etten, responded to the barn fire around 12:05 Sunday afternoon on Spencer Road. The fire took about 4 1/2 hours to put out and destroyed the barn, Candor Assistant Fire Chief Tom King said. Only the open area of the barn, which was used as a cow stall when it used to be a dairy farm years ago, stayed in tact, he said.
There were no animals on the farm and no people were injured, he said. The house, which is located about 75 yards away, was unharmed, King said. The cause of the fire is unknown, but the Candor investigation team is looking into it, he said.
King said the farm is owned by Eric Halstead and was used as a retail shop. There were tractors, cars, used equipment and parts in the barn, he said.
The thick black smoke that filled the air along the valley north of Candor was a result of the barn being old, King said. Route 96 was closed in both directions from the site of the fire until around 5 p.m., he said.
Danby Chief Gaden said he wondered if all the machinery inside the barn kept the fire going for as long as it did. Several onlookers gathered as the companies worked to get the fire under control, he added.
"It was a well-known place in Candor, so a lot of people came out to look," Gaden said. "They did a fruit stand out of there and all sorts of stuff, so it was well known."