Massive fire destroys barn, house in Ripley

RIPLEY – Strong winds are believed to have helped an early morning fire spread in Ripley on Wednesday.

Firefighters were alerted at 5:15 a.m. for a barn fire at 10244 Route 20.

However, upon arrival Ripley first responders found the barn and adjacent house on fire.

“When we arrived the barn was already up in flames,” Ripley first assistant fire Chief Brian Chess told the OBSERVER at the scene. “We tried to work fast and save the house next door but it was already burning.”

Ripley was assisted by South Ripley, Sherman and Westfield fire departments in New York, and the Fuller Hose Co. and Crescent Hose Co. in North East, Pa.

Scott Cummings of the Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team said strong winds Wednesday morning likely pushed flames from the barn 30 feet to the house. Both structures were a complete loss, he said.

“As soon as they got here they tried to get water on the house, but it was pretty windy and that probably didn’t help,” Cummings said.

Two vehicles, one of which was stored in the barn, also were a complete loss, fire officials said. A neighboring house sustained minor damage to its siding as well.

The cause of the fire was not known Wednesday. No injuries were reported.

A portion of Route 20 was closed to traffic for almost three hours. The Chautauqua County Fire Police Team assisted at the scene.