Scappoose fire chief answers call as his barn burns

MIchael Griesen came home to find a lightning-caused fire destroyed his barn

SCAPPOOSE, Ore. (KOIN 6) — When Scappoose Fire Chief Michael Greisen came home from fighting a fire at 3:00 a.m. this morning, he didn’t expect to have to call his own dispatch.

Scappoose Fire Chief Michael Greisen, August 1, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
Scappoose Fire Chief Michael Greisen, August 1, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

While Greisen was out, lighting struck his 50-year-old barn, fully engulfing it in flames.

“My rig was here so I got on the 2-way, it always seems like it takes forever to arrive,” he said

His own crews arrived shortly, as the station is a mere mile from his home.

Greisen said he is relieved despite the loss – more than $15,000 worth of hay he was planning to store in the barn in the next few days was saved. “Good thing there was no hay in there, it would have taken 12-24 hours to put out,” he said.

His home was spared by a field of blackberry bushes.

“When lightning hits the tree it travels in a circle down the tree into the ground and whatever is in the way it takes it with it,” Greisen said.

He added he is still working on completely extinguishing the barn fire, which is still burning more than half a day later. The Scappoose crews are occupied with fighting timber fires across Columbia County from last night’s lightning storm.

Greisen said he knows the fire was caused by lightning because the barn has no electricity.


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