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Fire decimates barn along Maple Valley Road; no injuries reported

September 14, 2018

Fire destroyed a barn along Maple Valley Road north of Meyersdale Wednesday morning.

Mike and Amanda Butterfield own the property, located at 1281 Maple Valley Road, and just moved in last October. They purchased it from Butch and Barb Lepley, who had lived there for many years.

According to Cory Albright, first assistant chief with the Meyersdale Volunteer Fire Department, he could see the blaze from his windows at 5 a.m. when he got the call. He lives along Maple Valley Road.

“When we got here around 5:13 a.m., the structure was fully engulfed in flames and the roof was collapsing,” said Rick Irwin, driver of the ladder truck.

Berlin Fire Chief Bill Miller said it was fully involved by the time his department arrived. There were complications as well.

“It had hay bales. We had the original fire in an hour and a half,” Miller said. “But we fought it all day. We had to have the hay bales pulled out by a track hoe. We were doing that until 3 o’clock.”

About 35 firefighters were on scene. Miller said the fire wasn’t suspicious and they didn’t call the fire marshal. Firefighters cleared the scene at 4 p.m.

There were some animals in the barn, but they were all able to get to safety. A tractor, 62 round bales and 500 small straw bales were destroyed, however.

“It was an iconic building and really added to the character of the farm,” said Mike Butterfield, who was awoken when firemen knocked on his door. He said he believed a neighbor or passerby called in the blaze.

The Butterfields moved to Somerset County in 2010 to milk cows on the Stutzman farm, but they sold the cows last year before moving to Maple Valley Road and now raise beef cattle. Amanda Butterfield is originally from Monongahela, and Mike Butterfield is from the state of Indiana.

She was not at home when the blaze started but was away in Lancaster. She traveled home later. Mike Butterfield reported that some miscellaneous equipment was lost, but he was able to get a skid loader out of the way in time.

Albright said insurance adjusters were called and would determine the cause of the blaze. The Butterfields said they plan to rebuild, but a new building will not have the same historical value.

It was estimated that the barn was built in the mid-1800s and the property itself was once owned by Earl Walker. The Berlin and Garrett fire departments assisted at the blaze.

(Staff writer Cody McDevitt contributed to this story.)

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