Rock Valley, Iowa — A granary was destroyed in a fire on Monday, March 16, 2015 near Rock Valley.
According to Rock Valley Fire Chief John Wallenberg, about 6:20 PM, the Rock Valley Fire Department was called to the report of structure fire at 2137 340th Street, three miles south and three and a half west of Rock Valley, on property owned by Rick Davelaar.
The chief says the fire department saw a fully engulfed granary as they arrived. He says the building was almost gone. The roof on a nearby old hog house was on fire too, he says. He says they were able to save that building, but not the granary, which had been set up for horses to feed on hay in the building.
Wallenberg reports that Rick Davelaar burned his hand on a camper as he was trying to move it out of the way.
The fire department was assisted by the Hudson, South Dakota Fire Department. Wallenberg says they brought a water tanker.
He says the cause of the fire appeared to be due to some burning a few days before. He says his theory is that the wind caused embers in a stump to light on fire, which jumped to the trees and then the buildings.
Chief Wallenberg reports that in addition to the damage to the older buildings, the hay loss was also significant.
He says they used ten to fifteen thousand gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene until 10:30 PM.
The chief reminds people that the dry, windy conditions that we’ve been having are a perfect combination for fires to spread rapidly. He says the Rock Valley Fire Department fought three fires after noon on Monday. The other two were grass fires to which they responded with the Sioux Center Fire Department.
He says people should reconsider burning anything under these conditions.