An unattended kerosene lamp set a barn on fire Thursday night resulting in the loss of the barn, two vehicles inside and thousands of dollars in property.
According to Mike Birks, who lives at the residence on Oneill Road near Satsop, he was working on his sister’s Jeep, when he left to go pick up his niece at athletic practice. He left a heater on in the barn. By the time he returned minutes later, the barn was on fire, he said.
“I was working on the Jeep, and I went to pick up my niece, and I left it on,” he said.
Birks said he had been living at the house because he had fallen on some difficult times.
Firefighters from Grays Harbor fire districts 5 and 2 were on scene at 6:15 p.m. along with members of the Elma Fire Department. According to Dan Prater, chief of District 5, the barn had two vehicles inside and 50 bales of hay. The other vehicle destroyed was a Ford F250.
The fire was contained in minutes, but flare ups in the hay lasted for hours.
“Hay fires are some of the hardest to fight,” Prater said.
Birks paced through the yard despondently last night while firefighters picked through the wreckage of the barn. Watching the column of smoke he reflected, shaking his head, “It’s all my fault.”