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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : local June 30, 2016

12/7/2012 12:51:00 PM
Verde Hay Barn destroyed by fire
Photo by by Chad Winton
Photo by by Chad Winton
Photo by Melissa Steidl
Photo by Melissa Steidl

Jon Hutchinson
Staff Reporter

COTTONWOOD -- Folks in farming communities are familiar with blazing hay fires in the middle of the night. Cottonwood suffered one of those impressive blazes in the early morning hours Friday. The two-story Verde Hay Barn in Bridgeport caught fire and burned.

The fire was reported at 2:01 a.m. and flames were already showing.

Capt. Mark Dixon of Verde Valley Fire said Cottonwood Fire crews were the first on the scene followed by Verde Valley Fire, Sedona and Camp Verde Fire companies. Crews used three ladder trucks to give them height above the two-story building. There were four engine companies and numerous support vehicles and crew members.

With fire hydrants on the opposite side of State Route 89A, water hoses stretched across the highway to reach the fire, closing the roadway for an estimated three hours, according to Operations Chief Jerry Doerksen.

The fire was not considered under control for about two hours after the initial report but continued to smolder into the morning.

A large 18-wheel truck and trailer stacked high with hay was parked in the barn and was burned in the fire. Until that truck was pulled out of the barn, fire crews could not fully extinguish remaining hot spots.

Most of the barn contained hay and straw, as well as animal and feed supplies. The offices on the far west side of the building were saved, but suffered serious smoke damage.

No one was in the building at the time of the fire, but there were a number of birds and animals for sale behind the offices. Four goats and some chickens were saved, but some enclosed small birds were lost to the blaze.

First built in the 1970s, the building originally housed a mini-golf operation for only a few years. The wood frame barn was reconstructed as a two-story building for hay storage by lifting the structure and supporting it with a new story built of concrete blocks.

Roy Dean, whose family owns the building and surrounding property, says the hay barn is the primary sales point for hay raised on the family's Buckeye farm.

Dean asked that firefighters retain the concrete block walls for possible reconstruction, but he told the Verde Independent that it is still too early to determine if it will be rebuilt, given expensive county permitting and other unknowns.

Taylor Waste

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, December 10, 2012
Article comment by: Karen Vernetti

Oh so sad to see a fellow business owner lose all those years of hard work and investment! We at D&K Service Cycle & ATV and Dream Star Ranch wish the "Dean" family and Harold & Patrick all the best in the coming difficult months.
I will miss chatting with the guys while picking up my horse feed.

Posted: Sunday, December 9, 2012
Article comment by: The Goatherder

I'll second the hope that the county will do everything in it's power to expedite the permitting process, cut through the red tape BS and assist the Dean family in rebuilding the hay market.
It's getting harder and harder to find quality hay and feed in small or large amounts in this valley. There is little competition. We need all we can get. Best of luck to the Dean family and the guys who run the store. Thank goodness the goats survived.

Posted: Sunday, December 9, 2012
Article comment by: Andy V

More sad than the loss of the building is the loss of the many animals. Lots of new chicks were in the room waiting for new homes. Also lost is the jobs for the two great guys working there.

Posted: Sunday, December 9, 2012
Article comment by: Slater Slater

Such a loss.I enjoyed going in there just to get
a feel of days gone bye.

Posted: Saturday, December 8, 2012
Article comment by: Robin K

So sorry to see such a tragedy. I remember watching that building being built. It was in the 80's not the 70's. and I remember watching the building being jacked up after the mini golf closed. I hope the Deans are able to rebuild. best wishes for a better new year.

Posted: Friday, December 7, 2012
Article comment by: Icon Lost

For better or for worse, this building was something of a unique and iconic landmark for Cottonwood.

And it had character. Small town character. Let's hope whatever replaces it has that too.

Posted: Friday, December 7, 2012
Article comment by: Paul Peck

Sorry to see this happen, and for your loss. I was at work this morning, and saw it. Best of luck to the family, and hopefully you can rebuild without any hassles from the county or town.

Posted: Friday, December 7, 2012
Article comment by: Patty Cake

"Roy Dean, whose family owns the building and surrounding property, says the hay barn is the primary sales point for hay raised on the family's Buckeye farm. " .WAS. and how sad.

Posted: Friday, December 7, 2012
Article comment by: A Sad Day Indeed

For all of us who know all the folks who own and operate the Verde hay Market, this is so sad.
A well established family business that has served the Verde Valley faithfully for years gone in hours. Hopefully, the County will realize the importance of having the Hay Market and allow it to be rebuilt without permits that are so cumbersome no family business could comply.

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