CHATEAUGAY — A massive barn fire kept firefighters from throughout northern Franklin County and beyond busy most of Christmas Day.
A barn housing more than 6,000 bales of hay went ablaze shortly after 8 a.m. Wednesday on County Route 39 about one and a half miles north of Route 11.
The barn belonged to the family of Shirley Cook and was used for hay storage. There were no animals in the barn.
Chateaugay Fire Chief Matt Helm said the cause of the fire was being investigated.
Firefighters from Chateaugay got help from Malone, Constable, Westville, Burke, Churubusco, Ellenburg Depot, Ellenburg Center, Lyon Mountain and Hinchinbrooke, Que.
Battling the flames was difficult as the temperature was 7 degrees below zero when the call came out at 8:17 a.m Franklin County Fire Police were also helping out.
“It takes a lot of effort to keep the trucks running and the hoses flowing when it is that cold out,” Helm said.
“We used a lot of fuel to keep the trucks running.”
The New York State Department of Transportation was also involved as they provided sand and salt for the roads so the fire trucks could maneuver better, Helm said.
Crews were at the barn until about 4:30 p.m, effectively wiping out their Christmas Day.
“I guess it just happened to be our turn this year,” Helm said.
Helm said the barn debris was still smoldering into the evening, but since Cook’s home was across the street and no one was in danger, fire crews were going to leave it be for the evening.
“We will check it a few more times tonight and go back tomorrow,” Helm said.