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Patrick Porten
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Memorial Day Fire Destroys Barn

Memorial Day Fire Destroys Barn     5/28/18


  Following a weekend with record breaking hot temperatures as the Memorial Day sun began to drop in the sky, the sounds of fire truck sirens could be heard in the Medford area.  Just before 7 o’clock Monday night, milking chores were underway on the Matt Bunkelman farm north of Medford located at N5653 Settlement Drive in the town of Chelsea.  As they were milking the strong smell of smoke filled the barn.  Running out of the barn flames were visible in the hay mow.  The Medford fire department was the first of the area fire departments on the scene and the barn was nearly fully burning when they arrived.  Several of the remaining cows were run out of the burning structure. 

  While the cause of the barn fire is undetermined it was noted that several lights in the hay mow had been knocked out the previous evening during storms with heavy lightning.  An end loader was brought in to assist in structure and hay removal.  The Matt Bunkelman barn was a T-shaped structure measuring about 100 by 190 feet.  Preliminary damage estimates were at least $500,000.  Medford firefighters were on the scene until just before 4 o’clock Tuesday morning.

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