By Mike Ullery and Melody Vallieu
NEWTON TOWNSHIP — A fire that burned two barns and acres of farm land Monday is projected to be a loss of about a half million dollars.
According to Pleasant Hill Fire Department Captain Adam Marchal, firefighters were called to the scene at 3d Farm, State Route 721 and West Laughman Road, owned by Joe Deeter, at 3:57 p.m. Monday, where two of a trio of barns that were tied together in construction were on fire. Marchal said the two barns, holding hay and machinery, were complete losses, while the third barn — full of more than 100 dairy cows — was saved.
“We didn’t have to move them,” Marchal said.
Crews were able to save more than 60 cows that were moved to another farm and three cows perished in the fire.
Marchal said the family home also received about $30,000 in damage to its structure and contents, but is habitable.
Embers from the flames then sparked a field fire north of the property, burning an estimated 20-25 acres, said Marchal, who said this is one of the largest fires in the area in a while.
At around 4:30 p.m., a structure fire was reported at a garage in Bradford, further taxing manpower and resources.
Pleasant Hill firefighters having command at the scene reported the fire as “under control” at 5:55 p.m. Fire departments were released from the scene throughout the evening as hot spots were extinguished and cleanup completed.
Marchal said two firefighters were treated at the scene for heat exhaustion.
The fire is estimated to have caused approximately $500,000 in damage.
While Pleasant Hill Fire Department was the lead department, the Covington, Bradford, Phillipsburg, Ludlow Falls, West Milton, Laura, Pitsburg, Arcanum and Tipp City fire departments offered mutual aide.
Marchal said firefighters cleared that scene at 10:45 p.m.