Fire consumes hunting lodge
By Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor, Editor, [email protected]
It took firefighters — more than 60 of them — from about a dozen departments to battle a structure fire Sunday afternoon in northwest Harrison County.
Lonnie Leake, chief of the Ramsey Volunteer Fire Dept., said his department was paged to Bosler Outfitters along Lincoln Springs Road in Blue River Township at 11:50 a.m.
A Ramsey VFD firefighter, who lives nearby, was on the scene in six minutes with the first fire engine arriving 11 minutes after the page.
Leake said there was “heavy fire” in half of the second story of the 40-foot by 105-foot wood structure by the time firefighters arrived. He estimated wind gusts that afternoon were about 25 to 30 mph.
“The structure was built in the early 1800s as a barn and had been converted into a hunting lodge,” the fire chief said.
There was a layer of insulation added between the original structure and the current exterior. The interior, which included nine bedrooms and six bathrooms, was mostly wood, too, Leake said.
Milltown VFD was paged along with Ramsey to provide mutual aid. Firefighters from Palmyra were dispatched soon after the initial call.
“It was too far gone when we arrived to get crews on the other side of the structure,” Leake said.
Tanker trucks from Harrison Township Fire Dept. and Marengo VFD arrived to assist, allowing water to be hauled to the scene.
“Water was tanked in from two locations: Clover Valley Road by the railroad tracks and the Hancock Chapel area,” Leake said.
Water from Palmyra was also used, he said.
In all, 93,000 gallons of water was used. Leake said the average amount for a structure fire is about 25,000 gallons.
Leake said none of the water sources was close to the location of the fire.
Just after 3 p.m., firefighters also had to contend with some “spot fires” in sage brush and pasture fields near the structure.
“That’s when the ‘all call’ went out,” Leake said.
Other fire departments that responded to the scene were Boone Township, Heth, Lanesville and New Middletown along with Leavenworth and Posey Township in Washington County.
In all, Leake said 33 pieces of apparatuses were used to battle the fire.
Firefighters from Elizabeth VFD staged at the fire station in Ramsey to respond to other calls in the area, while Greenville VFD was on standby for Palmyra fire department.
Leake said Buddy Bosler owned the property and his brother, Mike Bosler, lived there. Buddy reportedly had insurance on the structure, the fire chief said, and Mike had renter’s insurance on his personal belongings.
There were no injuries reported from the fire.
“The fire consumed the whole building,” Leake said. “We tried our best, but it was too involved by the time we arrived.”