Farms and Fires

By Ana Rivera |

Published 04/01 2014 06:16PM

Updated 04/07 2014 05:30PM

Smoke and flames filling the air this morning near New Hartford.  It was a barn - and it is no more.  But there is a question - with much of the Mohawk Valley rural - what happens when a fire breaks out and the water to put it out is far away?

In March, flames engulfed a home.  A Poland family of five displaced as they saw everything they owned burnt to ashes. 

“It’s such a life changing event that happened to changed our lives," says Brandy Whitaker, victim.

On Tuesday, a fire in New Hartford leaves another building burnt to the ground.  The owner saying the only thing in the barn was about $40,000 of hay but overall...this fire not as devastating. 

"No reports of anyone in the building, no reports of anyone on scene or anything of that nature," says Chief Thomas Bolanowski, New Hartford Fire Department.

Even though a family didn't lose everything like they did in the Poland fire, there is something very similar in both cases.

"I’m going to guess a minimum of five or six," says Chief Bolanowski.

That's five or six other companies that were called in the help supply water to put the fire out.  In the Poland fire, it took five other departments.  Firemen say this is because of the location.

"We do have two hydrants in front of the house water supply is tough at times in terms of water pressure we're further out from the metro area," says Chief Bolanowski.

Firemen had to set up portable ponds.  Tankers would bring water, dump them and then a pump would connect to the hoses.

"We just need so much more water cold water to overcome the BTUs of the fire that's consuming the building and the materials in it and you have to overcome that," he says.

And other chiefs on the scene told Eyewitness News that this is a common problem that happens when they go out to fires in rural areas, but they have no problem helping each other out.

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