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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Fire destroys auction barn

Friday, December 26, 2008

An old building, that was most recently Hardy Auction Barn, was destroyed in a structure fire Dec. 15. Hardy Fire Department responded to the call, but according to Hardy Fire Chief Ernie Rose, the strong winds disabled them from putting the fire out in time to save the building. Photo Submitted
The Hardy Auction Barn located on West Front Street in Hardy has seen the last of its glory days. The building, that according to Fire Chief Ernie Rose, has been standing since he moved to the area in the 1960s was destroyed by fire Dec. 15.

According to the report, Rose, who is also the Police Chief of Hardy, was patrolling when he noticed smoke coming from the canopy that was connected to the building. Rose radioed for dispatch to page the fire department and then made his way to the building.

When Rose approached the property, he discovered that the owner, Charles Farmer, was inside. According to the report, Rose instructed Farmer to evacuate the building.

The report states that Farmer told Rose he had been at the Auction Barn for approximately 15 minutes and did not see smoke when he entered. At the time Rose discovered the fire, there was only assorted merchandise burning, but according to the report, the fire spread before the fire trucks were able to begin putting water to the flames.

The fire spread to a pickup truck and trailer that were parked under the canopy. Rose said the high winds at the time of the fire caused it to spread quickly and made it extremely difficult to get under control. After the fire spread to the truck and trailer it ignited the attic of the building.

The report stated that once the fire reached the attic space there was no way to get water on it. Despite the 18 fire fighters, two water hydrants and all of their equipment, the firemen could not stop the blaze from spreading.

Farmer lost several items, some that were not insured. According to Rose, Farmer had just purchased nine pallets full of new merchandise to sell at the auction and it was all destroyed. Rose said he thinks some items were uninsured due to the turnover rate of the building's contents.

The canopy where Rose believes the fire originated was a 40-by-60 foot pole structure with open sides and a dirt floor, joined to the main building. Farmer had enclosed the canopy with plastic to protect the merchandise he stored under it. The report listed furniture, appliances, a truck and a trailer as some of the items lost. According to Rose, there were several other items lost as well.

"We try to find the origin of the fire whether there is suspicion of arson or not," Rose said. According to Rose, there is no suspicion of arson in this case.

Rose investigated the fire later in the week and said he did not find a source of ignition. Due to the direction the smoke was flowing when he first spotted the fire and the damage left behind in the canopy, Rose has concluded that the fire started on the floor of the canopy. Rose said the damages the fire caused to the structure are irreparable.

Because the old building stood in Hardy for so many years, it is sure to be missed by residents and visitors alike. It is structures such as the Hardy Auction Barn that make the town a historical landmark.

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