A spectacular fire that caused one of the worst traffic tieups on Route 1A in recent years. totally destroyed the Endean Farm cow barn and grain room at the so-called Home Farm at the corner of Mylod Street late Monday afternoon with the loss unofficially estimated at SIS 000 The livestock of the farm about 25 young animals escaped harm due to the fact they were out in the pasture when the fire broke out.
The fire, discovered by nine-year-old Merrill Jenks, son of William G Jenks, farm manager on the estate which is owned by Charles S. Bird Jr., swept through the 60-foot long cow barn and adjoining feed shed with lightning fury as the flames were fanned by a stiff east wind that sent huge billows of acrid black smoke high into the air.
Firemen from Norwood, Walpole, and East Walpole, fought the blaze for several hours with the South Walpole apparatus filling in at the Stone Street firehouse in Walpole to cover the town until the Endean blaze was under control.
When the fire apparatus reached the scene flames were bursting out the rear doors of the bam as the young livestock roamed about the pasture. The high wind sent showers of sparks cascading through the field at the corner of Mylod and Walpole streets, setting the field afire and adding to the labors of the firemen. The home of the farm manager was saved when the wind veered the raging flames away from the two-story wooden dwelling but firemen stood by with hoselines and wet down the roof in case the wind shifted.
A prize bull, a black Holstein, was saved by farm employees who released it from an enclosure beside the blazing barn.
The origin of the fire is still undetermined, although officials said it may have been caused by spontaneous combustion in hay put in the barn Saturday, or by the hot rays of the sun shining through window glass. Fire Chiefs Alonzo N. Earle of Norwood and Aaron Hill of Walpole had firemen don gas masks as they fought the blaze from vantage points out of the view of the hundreds who gathered to watch them fight the blaze.
The huge billows of smoke which could be seen for miles caused hundreds of motorists to converge at the scene and traffic along Mylod Street and Walpole Street was tied up for nearly two hours as police set up road’ blocks and detoured traffic away from the scene of the fire. Norwood and Walpole police were assisted in unsnarling the traffic by troopers from the State police barracks at Wrentham.
Due to the lack of water pressure, the firemen were hampered in fighting the blaze.
(All articles were originally published in the Norwood Messenger unless otherwise noted)
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