A barn being demolished to make way for a housing development in Ridgefield burned Wednesday afternoon.
Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue was dispatched at 12:26 p.m. for a reported barn fire at 23115 N.W. Hillhurst Road. A large column of smoke could be seen for miles, according to an agency news release.
Division Chief Ben Peeler, who was working nearby, arrived within three minutes and reported that a large barn, in the process of being demolished, was fully engulfed in flames, the news release said.
The barn — located across from the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex and View Ridge Middle School — was reportedly part of the now-closed Kennedy dairy farm. Crews said they were familiar with it because the same barn caught fire three years ago.
“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, (Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue) units took a defensive fire stance and brought the fire under control from outside the structure,” the fire department said.
No one was injured in the fire.
The barn was being demolished by Rotschy Incorporated as part of the next phase of the Kennedy Farm housing development. Once the fire was mostly out, fire crews turned the scene over to workers from Rotschy, according to Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue.
“Rotschy has the proper equipment, including large tractors — track hoes with buckets and thumbs — to lift up collapsed portions of the building and water trucks to keep embers from spreading,” the news release reads.
Workers did not know how the fire started. The cause is being investigated, according to Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue.
Hillhurst Road was briefly closed during the response, the news release said, and traffic was diverted through a nearby housing subdivision.
Clark County Fire District 6 assisted in the response, for a total of 25 fire personnel on scene, the news release states.