Massive fire closes highway, destroys barn, vehicles and workshop east of Meaford
Owen Sound Sun Times
 

A workshop, barn and several vehicles went up in flames Monday night in a massive fire near Christie Beach, east of Meaford.

Close to 50 firefighters from both the Meaford and The Blue Mountains fire departments battled the blaze throughout the night, enduring a driving wind and frigid -15 C cold.

No injuries have been reported, and a house on the property at the corner of Highway 26 and Christie Beach Road is mostly unaffected, officials said.

Meaford Fire responded to the 911 call at 6:14 p.m. and arrived at the scene at 6:22 p.m. to a workshop and barn on fire. Smoke could be seen from the highway.

Meaford Fire Chief Courtney Allen said he decided to close Highway 26 for the safety of the emergency crews at the scene. The emergency vehicles and first responders were operating on the highway because of the position of the fire. Water from the firefight formed ice on the roadway, which salt trucks cleared up before the highway reopened early Tuesday morning.

The Ontario Provincial Police assisted at the scene by redirecting traffic. Highway 26 was closed from Christie Beach Road approaching from the west and just past Starlight Lane from the east.

Fire crews used four tanker trucks and delivered water from hydrants in nearby Meaford and Thornbury.

By 1:22 a.m. Tuesday, the two fire departments had the fire under control and remained on scene until 5 a.m. cleaning up and extinguishing hotspots, Allen said.

“The wind definitely was the driving factor. You need oxygen for a fire and that cold wind was howling right into the barn. It was just like a blowtorch,” Allen said.

No cause has been determined.

Go Fund Me page has been created to raise money for the family living at the property. The introduction mentions the family’s home went unscathed, but that vehicles, tools, and a “lifetime of irreplaceable items” were lost.

A family friend said a source of income has also been affected as members of the family worked as mechanics.

A young couple was reportedly living in a motorhome on the property next to the barn, which was lost in the fire.

Allen said this is the second major fire Meaford crews have battled in less than a month. On Valentine’s Day, twenty-eight firefighters attended a Graham Street house fire that resulted in extensive second-storey damages but no injuries.