Smoke and flames seen for miles; no injuries


Flames shoot high into the air as a barn is consumed with fire Wednesday afternoon. Despite the efforts of six area fire departments, four historic barns were destroyed and a nearby house was saved.

LAPEER CO. — Firefighters from six departments battled a wind-fed fire Wednesday while a seventh department stood-by at the Lapeer fire station for coverage in the area.

Flames and heavy black smoke could be seen for miles while area departments worked to save a home, in Mayfield Twp, a few miles west of Imlay City.

The county-wide automatic mutual aid worked well for responding agencies.

Among the responding departments from the Tri-City coverage area were Attica Twp., Arcadia Twp. and Metamora Twp. joining them were Deerfield Twp, Columbiaville and Lapeer City Fire & Rescue.

While Lapeer Fire was away from their station, Elba Twp. manned the Lapeer hall in case of any emergency calls in the area.

Lapeer County EMS sent one unit to the scene as a medical standby for firefighters and other emergency personnel.

Gawkers flocked to the scene to take photographs of the raging inferno before being diverted from the scene by police.

Some who lived close by reported seeing billowing smoke and flames coming from the property.

Photographs that were taken from several miles away were a clear indication of the severity of the incident. Troopers from the Michigan State Police post, along with Lapeer County sheriff deputies, diverted gawkers and other traffic away from the scene along Bowers Rd. to allow for water to be shuttled to working pumper trucks.

A number of privately owned classic vehicles sustained damage in the red-hot blaze. Neighbors who lived close by assisted the property owners in saving a few items from the fire.

Fire officials say the barn is a complete loss with firefighters having no chance to save the historic building, due to strong winds that hampered the firefighting efforts.

Firemen doused the flames with thousands of gallons of water, hauling water from a hydrant near the scene.

Fire officials say it is too soon to be able to determine a cause of the inferno. No injuries were reported as a result of the fire.