Daily Freeman - Firefighters dodge bullets in barn blaze
PINE PLAINS - Firefighters were forced to watch as a storage barn burned Saturday, prevented from immediately going after the fire because of bullets exploding inside the building, according to Pine Plains Assistant Fire Chief Robert Mizgier.
Firefighters responded to a 911 report of a barn on fire, and arrived at the storage building at 34 Mount Ross Road about five minutes before noon. The barn was already fully ablaze when firefighters arrived, and Mizgier said that as they approached, they heard a series of pops and bangs - exploding ammunition that was stored in the building.
"We had to wait until they stopped going off before we went in and attacked the fire," Mizgier said. He estimated that it was 15 or 20 minutes before they were able to safely approach.
The response drew 10 fire engines in total. Several fire companies participated in beating back the blaze. Milan contributed an engine, Stanfordville brought a tanker and Livingston came with an engine and a rescue truck. Firefighters from Millerton were on standby at the Pine Plains Fire Station. The Pine Plains Rescue Squad and Northern Dutchess Paramedics were also at the scene.
One firefighter was taken to Northern Dutchess Hospital and treated for chest pains. Two others were treated on the scene for heat-related injuries. None of the injuries were serious, Mizgier said.
The fire spread throughout the building from a wood stove, where the building's owner, Zebulon Taintor, was burning papers.
Firefighters were on the scene until about 4 p.m., Mizgier said. The building was a total loss, and Mizgier said that it took some time to conduct an extensive overhaul, picking through the wreckage and "putting out hot spots." An excavator from Duffy Layton Contracting was called in to help with the cleanup.
Besides bullets, the barn was also used for storing books.
"When we started sifting through, there were books everywhere," Mizgier said.