Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Aug. 21, 2000

Glencoe barn goes up in flames, horses survive

By Gail Lipe

Liberty Bend Farms, a Morgan horse farm north of Glencoe, lost 25 tons of hay, several buggies, a bobcat and much more when its barn went up in flames over the weekend. Luckily, the horses and most of the chickens were saved.

Lorie and Thomas Fischer woke up to the sound of frantic dog barking approximately 4 a.m., Sunday. The top half of the barn, which housed 25 tons of hay, was completely engulfed in flames.

"By the time we got to the barn, the hay chutes were burned open," said Lorie. She said sparks were flying down, the barn was smokey and very hot.

Lorie followed Thomas into the barn to let the horses loose. She said she was concerned the horses would run back into the barn, but they ran to a neighbors instead.

All 14 of the Fischer's Morgan horses were saved. One of the horses' hair was singed, and all were treated for smoke inhalation.

The Lester Prairie Fire Department, the Glencoe Fire Department and the Silver Lake Fire Department battled the blaze from 4:30 a.m. to nearly noon. Mathews Excavating helped by scooping out the burning hay with a backhoe.

Lorie said she was touched by the firefighters when they found the chickens. They took the time to see which ones were alive and rescued five adult chickens and two chicks.

Thomas said he had nothing but good to say about the fire departments. He said they were dedicated people who did a good job.

The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time, but there is speculation that a bale of hay ignited. Thomas said he had added new bales of hay to the barn on Saturday.

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