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BARNS BURN: Suspicious Fires In Story County

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Two large barn fires in rural Iowa are raising questions among firefighters.

They both happened in rural Kelley just three miles apart from each other.

Fire crews spent most of Friday morning battling two large barn fires the first was around 1:00 a.m. at 30391 520th Street, the second just an hour and half later at 53130 280th Street.

Crews say the second one was hard to fight.

“This one has been a little more stubborn, there were 50 brand new tractor tires inside the barn as well as a lot of tin,” says Huxley Fire Chief Kevin Deaton.

While fire crews were on the scene of the first fire, they spotted the second in the distance only three miles down the road, leaving crews suspicious it wasn't just a coincidence.

“It does raise some questions, both fires were barn fires, both fires occurred on properties where no on lived in the home,” says Chief Deaton.

Kelley, Huxley, Slater and eventually the Cambridge Volunteer Fire Departments were all called in to assist with the fires.

The departments plan to turn the fires over to the State Fire Marshall to determine a cause, but that could also be difficult.

“The disadvantage is we had to get a big piece of equipment in there to tear the buildings apart to be able to put it out, so what we're going to be able to tell is pretty iffy,” says Huxley Deputy Fire Chief Tom Sharpnack.

The departments say these fires are frustrating to fight, because if it was set intentionally it drains the resources of all four crews should something else had happened.

“That was four departments that spent the largest part of the night out there, there all volunteers and then everybody had to get up and go to work once we were done there,” says Sharpnack.

All four departments are encouraging the pubic to be aware of anything suspicious going on the area.

They say it's also important for neighbors to be aware of vacant properties in the area.

If you have any information please call the Story County Sheriff’s Office 515-382-7458.