Fire Destroys Barn

By: Chris Brennaman
By: Chris Brennaman

No charges have been filed in Sunday's barn fire in Sumter County. The children who allegedly admitted started it are ages six and seven. The district attorney will decide whether or not to bring charges against the mother.

Both children have already been referred to the Alabama Department of Human Resources.

In a matter of hours, the barn that had stood for more than 100 years was leveled.

"They were playing in the barn with a lighter, started the fire, returned home, and explained that it happened; she then contacted 911," said Reid Vaughn of the Cuba Fire Department.

Upon their arrival, firefighters from the Cuba Volunteer Fire Department found that the fire was quickly spreading toward the house, which was built in 1898.

"When you come up on a structure like this and it's already completely involved, the primary concern goes to buildings in the vicinity such as the house here," said Vaughn. "And there was a grass fire quickly getting close to the house and the other buildings in this vicinity."

The home and barn are on land owned by E. Clay Shaw, a Florida congressman. Rep. Shaw has been informed of the fire.

James "Jimbo" Shaw has lived in the home for sixty years. He says that not having the barn around will make things different for him every morning.

"Look out the kitchen window, drinking coffee and say 'doggonit, it's gone.' It's been there over a hundred years. It's gone now," Shaw said.

Shaw says that the barn not only served as a shelter for his cattle, but also as a storage area for Everett Springfield's tractors. Springfield has refurbished the old tractors.

"Yeah, I rework them myself and paint them. I had just painted these and put new tires on it," Springfield said.

Springfield says that the loss of the tractors, which were not insured, hurts more because of the sentimental value rather than monetary loss.

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