A large shed, half-filled with hay, was destroyed by fire Monday afternoon on the Todd Groom farm in rural Steuben.
Responding firefighters from the Boscobel Fire Department found the 6,000-square-foot shed fully engulfed in flames when they arrived, according to Chief Jeff Boughton. Cattle that have access to the area near the shed were in the pasture at the time of the fire and were not affected.
Temperatures over 90 degrees combined with the heat from the intense fire to cause several firefighters to suffer from heat exhaustion as they fought the blaze. One firefighter was taken to the hospital for treatment of heat exhaustion. There were no other injuries.
While the fire department was unable to extinguish the fire in the shed, they were able to keep the fire from spreading to barn, house and surrounding buildings.
The first units arrived on the scene at 17721 Pleasant Mound Road shortly after 2 p.m. Firefighters remained on the scene for the next seven hours pulling tin off the shed and removing hay with the help of an excavator to be certain the fire was completely out before they left.
The Boscobel Fire Department was assisted by the Gays Mills Fire Department, the Soldiers Grove Fire Department, the Seneca Fire Department, the Wauzeka Fire Department, the Blue River Fire Department and the Fennimore Fire Department. The Lancaster Fire Department also sent equipment and personnel, which stood by at the Boscobel Fire Station. While some manpower was provided by the assisting departments, they primarily hauled a lot of water to the scene. Chief Boughton estimated about 80,000 gallons were used.
While the Boscobel Rescue Squad attended to the heat exhaustion affecting the firefighters, they were assisted by Frist Responders from Steuben, Scott Township, Seneca and other units.