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Democrat Photo by Dan Hust

STRUCK OUT: This barn on Old Taylor Road near Kenoza Lake was hit by lightning Thursday and burned to the ground as a result. There were no injuries – only hay and wood went up in flames.

100-Year-Old Barn Destroyed by Lightning

By Dan Hust
KENOZA LAKE — May 23, 2000 -- Bob and Marge Brown of Kenoza Lake were inside their Town of Bethel home Thursday evening visiting with neighbors and relatives Florence Brown, Nancy Neumann and family when they got a call from another neighbor down Old Taylor Road.
Smoke was rising from behind their home, and the neighbor was concerned.
So all took a look out the window, and it was then that they noticed Bob Brown’s hay and heifer barn was totally up in flames – and had evidently been burning for several minutes.
By that time, the Kenoza Lake, Jeffersonville and Lake Huntington fire departments were on their way, each leaving some members to tend to the multiple downed tree limbs and broken power lines left by Thursday evening’s violent thunderstorms which literally swept through the area.
But the Browns knew it was already too late. They were more concerned for the home next to the disintegrating barn, but firefighters worked diligently enough to save even a small shed barely 30 feet from the firey scene.
The conflagration actually destroyed two barns, though they were attached to one another. Quite a large supply of hay was burned up, said Bob Brown, but all seven cows – who have free run of the structure and the adjoining field – were outside and accounted for.
A live power line on the ground minorly hampered firefighters’ efforts, but no one was injured, although the Jeff First Aid Squad was present.
No electricity ran to the barn itself, so the Brown family speculated it was a final crack of lightning they heard around 6 p.m. that did the deed.
Brown said he never thought the 100-year-old barn was worth putting on his fire insurance policy, but he still considered it a painful loss.


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