By Doug La Rocque
It was about 2 pm on Easter Sunday, April 1, when the Valley Falls Fire Department first got the call for a small structure fire at 116 Tomhannock Road, in the Pittstown hamlet of Tomhannock.
That structure was a garage located only four feet from a large barn filled with approximately 400 bales of hay. Firefighters arrived to find that embers from the garage fire had ignited the hay, and they now had a much larger and more difficult fire to battle.
Many neighboring fire companies were called to the scene, primarily for tankers to supply water. Several propane tanks in close proximity to the structure also reportedly exploded, but there were no injuries and no reports of any livestock in the barn. Valley Falls Fire Chief Mark Sheline said the gusty winds on Sunday played a huge factor in their efforts to battle the flames.
Fire crews were on the scene until after midnight, with Valley Falls, Johnsonville and Raymertown returning Monday afternoon to battle a rekindle. Again, no injuries were reported.