VALLEYFORD, Wash. - Another wildfire was likely avoided Thursday morning after a barn burst into flames early Thursday morning south of Freeman High School on the 14300 block of East Drumheller Road.
The owner of the home woke up to a loud explosion just before 4 a.m. Inside his barn were several pieces of equipment a tractor, several propane tanks and that is what caused such a massive fire ball that even firefighters could see from miles away.
"As our engine pulled out of Valleyford Fire Station they could see the engine and the smoke and we had a report that it was getting into the grass and timber as well," Fire District 8 Chief Glen Godfrey said.
Godfrey added had conditions been different Thursday morning much more than the barn would have been in trouble.
"It was still pretty humid this morning, the temperature was down, I can already feel the temperature rising and I can already feel it drying out this morning and we are picking up a breeze now," he said.
Part of the reason for the success in quickly stopping the fire from spreading was the amount of resources Godfrey had at his disposal as a Spokane Valley fire engine was the second to arrive at the fire. Not long ago neighboring districts could help each other out but a phone call had to be made first.
Now districts have an automatic aid agreement in place to share resources and help each other out.
"Now there is no delay at all, the computer picks everybody and it sends the closest fire engine regardless of the district," Godfrey said.
That arrangement paid off Thursday.
"With the conditions that we have been seeing this last week or so, yeah we could have had a lot of problems here, and we got a huge stand of timber right next to this building," Godfrey said.
The owner of the barn estimates around $60,000 in property loss in the fire but thankfully no one was hurt.
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