Tractor Sparks Fire

No One Injured After Blaze Destroys Panama Barn

A barn located on Panama Bear Lake Road was destroyed by fire Monday evening. Firefighters from six departments were called to help douse the blaze, reported around 7:40 p.m. The barn was a complete loss. P-J photo by William Mohan

PANAMA — A barn was destroyed in a large fire Monday evening.

Firefighters from a half-dozen departments were called to 1049 Panama Bear Lake Road around 7:40 p.m. A passing motorist reportedly spotted the blaze and called 911.

The fire was under control in about 45 minutes, though the barn — used for storage of equipment and hay — was a complete loss. A neighboring home also sustained damage to its siding.

Rich Digirolamo, Panama fire chief, told The Post-Journal no one was home when the fire was reported. He also said no one was injured when battling the blaze.

County fire investigators were called to the scene Monday evening. In a report issued shortly before midnight, investigators said the fire was likely due to a “recently operated tractor (that) was parked in direct contact with loose hay and hay bales.”

Charles Rugg, an assistant fire chief, credited firefighters with saving the home from further damage.

“When we got on scene, the (barn) was fully involved,” Rugg said. “We did our best to control it. … We got a quick knockdown right away. We had six people who got it knocked down and under control.”

In all, first responders from Panama, Ashville, Busti, Clymer, Sherman and Bear Lake assisted.