Hay fire at Kahoots displaces two families

Hay continued to smolder Tuesday after an early-morning fire Monday destroyed more than $1 million worth of hay in the Kahoots Feed & Pet Store shed.

The fire damaged two homes, displacing the two families — six adults and three children, said Cal Fire Capt. Mike Mohler. Both families were renting, and according to reports one of the families has found another place to rent and a fund has been set up for the second family, a military couple with a 3-year-old daughter.

The fire started in the metal structure behind Kahoots at 947 Main St. about 2:30 a.m. Aug. 8. A Kahoots manager said there was no damage to the store, which was open Monday but not selling hay or propane.

The cause of the fire is being investigated by Cal Fire and the sheriff’s arson unit, said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Saul Villagomez with the Ramona Fire Department. He estimated that 2,000 bales of hay were in the metal storage shed, which stands about 25 to 30 feet tall.

Of concern as firefighters fought the blaze were a propane tank next door and houses on each side of the structure on B Street, said Mohler. Crews prevented the fire from spreading to the propane tank, but the two homes are uninhabitable, he said.

A back bedroom and attic at 928 B St., where four adults and two children lived, had fire damage, and there was fire damage in the master bedroom and bath at 920 B St., where two adults and the 3-year-old lived, said Mohler.

Damage estimate to the homes was unavailable.

Firefighters from Ramona’s three fire stations, Cal Fire and the Intermountain Fire and Rescue Department responded, as did two hand crews from the Puerto La Cruz Conservation Camp, said Mohler, estimated 80 people fought the fire.

Priscilla and John Hogrewe, recently selected to chief petty officer, had no renters insurance and are staying with a relative in Ramona until they decide what to do, Priscilla said on Monday. They lost the majority of their belongings as the result of fire, foam and smoke. Priscilla Hogrewe said some of their daughter’s things were in boxes and may be OK.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the Hogrewe fund may go online to HogreweFireFund.chipin.com.

An excavator removes debris after a hay fire in the metal shed behind Kahoots. Feed & Pet Store. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard

An excavator removed twisted metal after the structure was demolished Monday afternoon. Bob Ballantyne of Bob Ballantyne Grading of Ramona said the metal would be shipped to a recycling yard.

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Posted by Karen Brainard on Aug 10 2011. Filed under Archive, Featured Story. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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