Barn was a long-time fixture in the Ridgefield area
Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue units were dispatched at 12:26 p.m. Wednesday to a report of a barn on fire at 23115 NW Hillhurst Road in Ridgefield. The first unit to arrive was CCFR Division Chief Ben Peeler, who had been conducting work nearby.
Peeler was on scene three minutes from dispatch and reported a large barn that was in the process of being razed was fully engulfed in fire.
The barn was part of the Kennedy Dairy Farm, a long-time fixture in the Ridgefield area. CCFR crews were familiar with the barn because of a significant fire in the same barn three years ago.
The dairy closed three years ago and the land has been used for housing developments. It is located across Hillhurst Road from the new Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex (RORC) and the new View Ridge Middle School.
Hillhurst Road was briefly closed due to the incident and traffic was routed through a nearby housing subdivision. The fire created a large column of smoke that was visible for several miles.
The barn was being demolished by Rotschy Inc. to make way for the next phase of the Kennedy Farms housing development. Workers were unsure of how the fire started. CCFR Fire Investigators were on scene to try to determine the cause of the fire. The cause has not been determined at this time.
Due to the fact that the barn was fully involved in fire, it was unstable from the demolition process, and no lives were at risk, CCFR units took a defensive fire” stance and brought the fire under control from outside the structure.
Once the fire was mostly out and the barn had been predominantly consumed, CCFR turned the scene back over to workers from Rotschy Inc. Rotschy has the proper equipment, including large tractors (track hoes with buckets and thumbs) to lift collapsed portions of the building and water trucks to keep embers from spreading.
There were no firefighter or civilian injuries at this incident. No animals were present and no one was displaced.
CCFR was assisted on this incident by units from Clark County Fire District 6.
Information provided by Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue.