WEST PARIS — An overheated or sparking conveyor is the likely source of a fire that destroyed a barn full of hay here Monday afternoon, fire Chief Norman St. Pierre said.

Lorelei Cooper, co-owner of the farm at 10 Cooper Lane, said she returned from her Route 26 farmstand to meet with veterinarian Don McLean of Norway and the two were inside the barn when the fire erupted and burning hay fell in the front of the barn. They led six horses safely into a nearby field.

“It was just lucky I came up or we would have lost the horses,” she said.

St. Pierre said a conveyor belt to the barn’s upper level was used Monday morning and was the likely source of the fire.


“We believe the motor was either hot or popped a spark into the hay up there,” he said. Some metal equipment was salvaged, he said.

Cooper said the barn was built about 25 years ago and insured. It
contained about 2,000 bales of hay, as well as saddles and other
equipment.

The fire was reported at 12:52 p.m., sending firefighters from West Paris, Norway, Paris, Oxford, Greenwood, Sumner and Poland to the scene. St. Pierre said metal roofing hindered the battle. Tankers were supplied with water from a nearby pond.

St. Pierre said it took about four hours to put extinguish the blaze, and crews were cycled every 20 to 30 minutes in the hot, humid weather.

Chris Cooper, co-owner of the farm, tore down the remains to allow the fire departments to soak it with water. St. Pierre said the site would be monitored for hot spots.

Paris Police Department, Oxford County Sheriff’s Office and Tri-Town Rescue personnel were also sent to help.

[email protected]

A firefighter directs water onto a burning barn on Cooper Lane in West Paris on Monday. Six horses were led to safety, but 2,000 bales of hay were burned in the blaze that is believed to have started from an overheated or sparking conveyor belt. 

A firefighter directs water onto a burning barn on Cooper Lane in West Paris on Monday. Six horses were led to safety, but 2,000 bales of hay were burned in the blaze that is believed to have started from an overheated or sparking conveyor belt.

Firefighters from Oxford check out the smoldering remains of a barn that caught fire in West Paris on Monday afternoon. Six horses were led to safety, but 2,000 bales of hay
were burned in the blaze that is believed to have started from an
overheated or sparking conveyor belt.

A firefighter directs water onto a burning barn on Cooper Lane in West
Paris on Monday. Six horses were led to safety, but 2,000 bales of hay
were burned in the blaze that is believed to have started from an
overheated or sparking conveyor belt.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.