SCIO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (FOX 2) - The White Lotus Farm in Scio Township is a staple of farmers markets has been family owned for 30 years. Monday at 4:30 p.m. it was on fire and smoke could be seen from at least a dozen miles away.
Firefighters arrived at the scene they encountered an old wood structure completely engulfed.
"Three story barn that was a workshop and living quarters for owners and staff here," said Scio Township Fire Chief Doug Armstrong. "It had fire and smoke coming out of two sides."
The chief says there was someone inside the home attached to the burning barn.
"Someone came and knocked on the door and alerted him. He was able to grab his pets and get out safely," Armstrong said.
With everyone safe and accounted for, the focus became putting the fire out.
“The biggest problem was not having a dedicated water supply here," Armstrong said. "So having enough trucks to go and get water and bring it to the scene fast enough so we would not run out.”
The owners were devastated to lose the entire barn, but it could have been worse. The second red barn on the property is situated close to where the fire was. Firefighters worked diligently to make sure the fire did not spread to it.
“It took a lot of effort to save that barn from actually igniting," said Armstrong.
The chief says this fire was burning so hot, it helped start a secondary fire in a gas line.
“Debris falling from the barn fell below the meter and burned through the piping below the valve and started the gas on fire," Armstrong said.
DTE Energy was on scene, so too were neighboring agencies all in an effort to contain the fire. As for what started the blaze?
“They were working in the workshop earlier today left a couple hours and came back and just as they came back saw the smoke and flames," Armstrong said.
With the barn in this condition they may never know.