Hersey resident begins clean-up process from barn, silo fire

HERSEY — Smoke can still be seen occasionally, as it rises from the silo on Robert Morlock’s farm.

The silo is currently standing after a fire destroyed the adjoining barn on Friday evening in Hersey. However, Morlock said the structure may need to come down soon, making it another building lost at the farm on 200th Avenue.

“The silo is still smoldering,” he said on Sunday. “It’s shot. The feed in it won’t be good.”

As well as losing feed to the flames, Morlock also lost cows, a truck and hay, which had recently filled the barn before the fire ignited. The barn was reduced to charred pieces of metal, wood and piles of hay that could be saved.

“It went so fast,” he said. “I don’t know what ignited the fire. We got most of the cows out. Hopefully this week, we can get it all squared away. Now, is just a big clean up.”

Morlock said he had parked his truck in the barn Friday evening and had walked a short distance from the structure. Minutes later, the barn was being consumed by flames. Reed City Fire Department responded to the call.

“When we got paged for the fire, it was fully engulfed,” said Reed City Fire Department Chief Jeff Stein. “We stayed on scene 18 hours to get the fire out.”

With cows in a nearby barn and a large tank of fuel in front of another building, Stein said aside from battling the blaze, a main focus for firefighters on scene was keeping the fire away from other structures.

Departments assisting Reed City on Friday include Hersey Township Fire Department, Evart Area Fire Department, Lincoln Township Fire Department, Leroy Fire Department, Big Rapids Department of Public Safety-Fire Division, Colfax Township Fire Department, Big Rapids Township Fire Department and Chippewa-Martiny Fire Department. Excavators were called to the scene to assist the firefighters.

Stein said he is thankful for all the help Reed City received from other departments, law enforcement and the Osceola County Emergency Medical Services, who helped on scene.

Community members also provided help, bringing food and drinks to Morlock and the firefighters.

“I’ve got good friends and neighbors who have helped out,” Morlock said.

No one was injured during the fire.