Gilbert Zylstra and his son Dwayne (right) survey the aftermath of a fire which destroyed a barn on their Sixth Line property. The barn had been standing on the Zylstra property since it was moved to the location from Brampton in 1948 to be used as a poultry laying operation.
A barn on the Sixth Line was destroyed in an early morning blaze Sunday. No one was injured in the fire, and the cause is undetermined, however, a smoldering spark from metal grinding done by the property owner in the barn Saturday may have started the blaze, said a spokesperson for Halton Hills Fire Protection and Prevention Services. Greg Coman, whose home is several hundred feet in front of the barn said he was awakened by someone frantically banging on his front door at about 1:50 a.m. After being told the barn, which is owned by his neighbour Gilbert Zylstra, was on fire, he rushed out his back door to take a look, and found another passerby, a deaf man, standing on his back porch. He had typed, "I'm deaf, your barn is on fire," on his Blackberry and handed it to Coman's wife.
"I heard it (the fire) before I saw it," said Coman. "It was such an intense fireball, it just lit up the whole field." Halton Hills firefighters and police were called to the fire at approximately 1:40 a.m. When firefighters arrived the barn was fully engulfed in flames. A spokesperson for the fire department said firefighters concentrated on protecting the adjacent property, including a large gas tank and barley field. Coman was worried the blaze might spread to his property and he and his wife, along with residents of five neighbouring homes, were evacuated by police until the fire was under control. Tanker trucks and several Acton firefighters were called in to help battle the blaze that took several hours to burn itself out. In total, 23 firefighters responded. Zylstra said the barn had only been used for storage for the past few years. The fire department spokesperson said the barn was in the process of being torn down and there was no insurance on it and no real dollar loss from the fire. Zylstra said they were lucky the wind was blowing away from the other buildings on the property when the barn went up in flames. He said the adjacent grain crops are still quite green and didn't burn in the blaze. The barn originally stood on a farm at Highway 7 and Kennedy Road in Brampton. "It was on the Bull farm," said Zylstra. "My dad moved it here in 1948. It had five storeys in it including the foundation, and was used for laying hens and chicks for several years." Zylstra was relieved when it rained early Monday, soaking the smoking foundation and ensuring it wouldn't flare up again or possibly set the grain crops in the fields around it on fire.