Chopper 4 captures barn fire explosion

Posted at 3:50 PM, Mar 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-17 23:38:02-04

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Firefighters battled a massive barn fire in theTown of Jackson for at least five hours Thursday.  It was more than a barn to the Pipkorn family.

"I think it's really hard because my kids grew up here.  They've got lots of memories in that barn," explained Susan Pipkorn, homeowner. 

The barn has been in the family for generations.

"My mom and dad bought this place in 1941 because of a brand new barn.  So since then we've had it.  We've been keeping it upgraded.  We put a brand new roof on it this year and the roof people said it's one of the best barns they've ever seen and now look at it, it's a complete disaster," said James Pipkorn, homeowner.

The Pipkorns stored motors and tools in their barn. Nothing is salvagable.

"When we got on the scene we had heavy fire throughout the whole barn.  We called for neutral aid immediately and had a lot of heavy fire in the upper level of the barn," explained Batallion Chief John Lamm, Jackson Fire Department.

Several departments helped fight the blaze.  The cause is still under investigation, but firefighters believe they know where the fireball came from.

"We did have some acetylene and oxygen tanks inside that we were aware of.  We did our best to try and cool them down, but we believe one of those actually exploded," said Lamm. 

The explosion came after Susan rescued her potbelly big and goat from the barn.

"Two of our dogs stay in those cages right in front of the barn, but today when I left I was like just stay in the house I'll put you away later, but they could have been burnt up and in those cages," said Susan Pipkorn.

As Thursday's events sink in, the Pipkorns say they're thankful there were no injuries.  Also, there wasn't damage to any other structures on the property.  The family is already thinking about rebuilding their barn.