FARMINGDALE — A local farmer lost equipment, but none of his animals were injured when a fire destroyed a barn near the West Gardiner line Wednesday.

The fire in a barn at 845 Northern Ave. was reported just before noon, and it was out by 1 p.m. Lt. Julian Beale of the Farmingdale Fire Department said the barn was a total loss, but no people or animals were hurt in the blaze.

Beale said he had not yet had a chance to investigate how the fire started. He did not anticipate calling the Office of the State Fire Marshal for assistance.

The barn was owned by Richard Crockett, who lives in the house across the street. Crockett’s brother, Leon Crockett, one of the volunteer Farmingdale firefighters who helped battle the blaze, said his brother has homeowner’s insurance that may cover the loss. The Crocketts grew up on the farm, which has been in the family for years.

“He’s been a farmer his whole life,” Leon Crockett said.

The barn, a single-story structure that measured about 40 feet by 40 feet, housed equipment including a diesel tractor and new welder, all of which were destroyed.

“That’s where he kept all his play toys,” Leon Crockett said.

The barn also held tools passed down for generations.

“He’s never gonna replace those,” Leon Crockett said.

About 20 cows lived in the barn, but all the animals were outside when the fire broke out. Leon Crockett said there are other outbuildings in the pasture that the animals can use for shelter.

The fire was reported by a person passing by on Northern Avenue. Smoke from the blaze could be seen more than three miles away at the Cohen Community Center in Hallowell. Beale said the flames engulfed the front of the building and were rolling to the back when firefighters arrived. Beale said heavy snow remaining from Tuesday’s blizzard, coupled with a water supply that was some distance down the road, made battling the blaze a bit challenging.

“Everyone got here quickly and did a great job,” Beale said. “We got a lot of water on the fire quickly.”

It took about 45 minutes to get the fire under control, Beale said. Crews had to remove parts of the metal siding to get at hot spots in the interior wall.

“There were a lot of hot spots,” Beale said.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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