VIRGIL TOWNSHIP – A corn crib burned to the ground, and an abandoned barn was partially damaged Monday afternoon when a rubbish fire got out of control, said Kevin Peterson, Maple Park fire chief.
The rubbish fire was burning northeast of the barn and directly east of the crib, located on the property at 49W368 Winters Road in Virgil Township, Peterson said. The Maple Park Fire Department was dispatched to the incident at 3:29 p.m. Monday. Upon arrival, firefighters found the corn crib burned to the ground.
“The wind carried [the fire] into the corn crib, and that caught the barn roof on fire,” Peterson said.
Fire crews were able to extinguish the fire and put out the embers that landed on the barn roof.
The fire caused an estimated $5,000 in damages, according to Peterson. He said no residents or firefighters were injured during the incident.
Bryan Rundle of Janesville, Wisconsin, was tending to the rubbish fire when he said the wind suddenly shifted and spread the fire to the crib.
“I saw smoke on it, and I didn't hesitate to call 911,” he said.
Rundle was on the property with a small crew tearing down part of the unused barn, which he said was scheduled for partial demolition along with the corn crib. He purchased the barn for an undisclosed price and planned to keep the flooring joints, weather vanes and cupola on top of the barn.
The barn was raised in 1924 to replace a previous barn on the property, Rundle said.
“A fire [from a lightning strike] burned the old one down – quite ironic,” Rundle said.
Among the fire companies that assisted Maple Park at the scene were Elburn and Countryside, Burlington, Big Rock, Cortland and DeKalb.