By Susan Monteleone
NARROWSBURG July 29, 2005 Wednesday proved a bit too eventful for Eleanor Wells.
The Lava resident had just heard the National Weather Service issue a severe thunderstorm warning that afternoon, so her relatives peered outside to see the approaching storm.
"My cousin's husband and my aunt looked out the window, and the chicken coop was on fire. Next thing I know, they called the fire department and me, and then we were standing right on the lawn watching it burn, she recalled. I had no clue it had caught fire.
Wells chicken coop was located in her back field on Route 52. A football-field-long, narrow structure built circa 1900, it once held numerous chickens when her dad raised them.
"We were not using the chicken coop for anything, and there was no electric to it, so I am sure it had to have been hit by the lighting that passed through only minutes ago," added Wells.
Firemen battling the blaze struggled due to the intensely hot weather as well as the limited resources for pumping water from nearby lakes that are low.
Tankers from neighboring fire companies were called for assistance in battling the blaze. Members from the Lava, Narrowsburg and Cochecton-Lake Huntington fire departments responded, as well as the Beach Lake and Welcome Lake fire departments from Pennsylvania, with White Mills also on standby and the Tusten Ambulance Corps setting up relief stations.
The blaze is currently under investigation.