'Cow Palace' in ruins after Darke Co. fairgrounds fire

Published: Friday, December 27, 2013 @ 8:18 PM
Updated: Friday, December 27, 2013 @ 8:18 PM

A massive fire destroyed the large Cow Palace barn and heavily damaged another at the Darke County Fairgrounds Friday night, when one firefighter was sent to the hospital after fighting the blaze.

An investigator from the State Fire Marshal's Office was at the fairgrounds Saturday morning working to determine a cause of the fire.

The cause and cost estimate of the damages are not expected to be available for a day or more.

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Officials said the Greenville firefighter who went to the hospital after battling the blaze that destroyed one barn and heavily damaged another was treated and released.

The fairgrounds off Ohio 49 filled with black, acrid smoke and fire vehicles from 11 fire companies were on hand shortly after people reported seeing flames at 7:45 p.m. Friday.

The Cow Palace, which is filled with 4H animals and projects during the annual fair, was being used to store some vehicles and trailers that are now damaged, according to Greenville Fire Chief Mark Wolf.

Crews arrived to find the building engulfed in flames. Wolf said electric lines going to the building were "popping" and Dayton Power and Light responded quickly to cut power.

"This was a pretty large fire. It's an open air building. Basically the roof structure was involved in the fire. Because of the congestion inside the fairgrounds, we're extremely concerned about exposures," Wolf said.