Fire destroys barn-workshop in Apex

mcaulder@newsobserver.comJanuary 23, 2013 

Wake and Chatham County firefighters work at the scene of a fire at 3512 Olive Chapel Rd. in Apex Wednesday, January 23, 2013. The two story barn was destroyed in the fire.


— Flames rose up to 80 feet in the air as fire destroyed a barn at 3512 Olive Chapel Road on Wednesday night, according to Apex Fire Chief Mark Haraway.

No one was injured in the fire, but the barn, which contained a woodworking shop, burned to the ground. The adjacent house sustained only minor aesthetic damage as the intense heat melted some of its vinyl siding.

The fire was reported by the property owners after they saw the barn door on fire shortly after arriving home. The call came into the fire station as a fully engulfed non-commercial property out in the rural area on the edge of Wake County.

Eight fire departments from both Wake and Chatham counties responded to the blaze and immediately concentrated on the side of the barn closest to the home to prevent the fire from jumping between the buildings.

Water to douse the fire was an issue because the nearest hydrant to the blaze about a mile down Olive Chapel Road near Richardson Road.

Apex Fire Department coordinated as six trucks, each holding 2,000 gallons, shuttled water from the hydrant into a pool firefighters set up next to Olive Chapel Baptist Church. Another fire engine pumped water from the pool down to the barn.

The trucks, able to unload their tanks in about one minute, rotated every five to six minutes. They managed to get ahead of the need for water around 9 p.m.

Haraway said that once the fire is fully extinguished, Wake County fire marshals will investigate the cause, Haraway said.

He warned that travelers along Olive Chapel Road should drive cautiously near Richardson Road because water left standing near the hydrant could freeze overnight and create slick spots on the roadway.

Caulder: 919-829-4758

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