The welders were working to replace a metal bar on the gate where Davidson said one of her horses kept putting its leg through. Instead of taking the gate off the hinges, Davidson said the welders tried to make the repair with the gate still attached to the barn.
John Bass, Lebanon firefighter and Captain of the shift that responded to the call, said a spark from the welder ignited hay and other flammable material near the gate. Bass said Davidson’s barn manager, Jelani Anter, called 911 around 11 a.m. after welder Ronnie Wrye alerted him there was a fire.
“They initially thought they had water at the barn, but when they tried to put it out they didn’t have the water supply to put it out,” Bass said. He also said Anter attempted to move some of the hay and material but couldn’t prevent the fire from spreading so he dialed 911. “All it takes is one spark,” Davidson said, referring to smoking or doing anything involving flames in a barn.
LFD dispatched three fire engines to the residence to fight the flames with Wilson County Emergency Management Agency backing them up, bringing water to the scene. Bass said since the barn was so far away from a hydrant, they had to keep bringing water in another engine to keep the ones fighting the fire well-supplied.
Bass said the majority of the fire was located in the large amounts of hay stored in the barn. Davidson said she had recently stocked up on her hay supply of hay to prepare for the winter.
“When you have hay, it’s so hard to put out because it has so much heat built up inside,” Bass said.
Firefighters worked to saturate the hay as much as possible, but Bass said that doesn’t extinguish the flames completely sometimes. He said when hay burns it falls in on itself and incubates the fire, making it extremely difficult to put out.
The three-engine crew worked inside the barn and out, tearing off the exterior walls to try and expose the flames so they could be put out.
Bass said by the time the first two engines arrived, the fire had spread to about 50 percent of the structure. Luckily, none of Davidson’s horses were in the barn at the time. However, Davidson said she lost a lot of tack including saddles, bridles, bits and other items that were inside.
Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.