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Disaster averted when fire discovered just in time

JERSEY SHORE — Thanks to a passerby who spotted in time smoke coming from a pole barn on River Road in Porter Township on Saturday night, volunteer firefighters were alerted and quickly responded to get the fire under control in about 15 minutes, according to Robert Cowfer, chief of the Independent Hose Company.

Three bales of hay were burning inside the 40×100 foot pole barn when firefighters arrived at the Bowes family farm at 1550 River Ave. about 8:15 p.m., Cowfer said.

Even though the fire was quickly contained, there was extensive overhaul to be done as firefighters and neighbors with skidsteers worked together to remove all 200 hay bales from the building. It was estimated that 60 of the bales were destroyed, Cowfer said, adding there was no damage to the building.

It was believed that spontaneous combustion likely sparked the fire, he said.

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