TEWKSBURY- A swift response by Tewksbury firefighters averted disaster at Krochmal Farm Tuesday afternoon when a barn fire broke out. The sow barn, currently empty and unused, was being cleaned out when a fire caught from cutting torches, according to Captain Mike W. Sitar, Jr.
Owner Jenny Nagle credited the fast response of Engine 2, from the South Fire Station, for saving the day.
“If it wasn’t for that, it would have been horrific,” said Nagle. “Five more minutes and it would have been all done.”
The sow barn is in close proximity to both the finisher building, which houses Krochmal’s pig stock, and a hay barn. Had either or both of those buildings caught fire, the results would have been disastrous for the farm.
The fire began around 3:15 pm and was contained to the sow building. In addition to Engine 2, Engine 1, a ladder truck, the fire department ambulance, the fire Chief, and police officers. Hoses were run from South Street deep into the property to get to the fire.
When crews arrived the fire “was going pretty good,” said Sitar. The ceiling was mostly plastic and insulation, which, along with a few hot spots, took time to extinguish. Still, crews started leaving the scene by 4:30 pm.
Chief Mike Hazel praised firefighters, Engine 2’s quick arrival, adding, “They made quick work of it.”
Nagle said early assessments estimate damage to the barn at $20,000.
Hazel reminded press that while this was a barn fire, in house fires smoke detectors remain the first line of defense.
“The chances of escaping a fire in a home rise to 99.47 percent with properly installed smoke detectors,” said Hazel.