Fire destroys machine shed, chickens in rural Douglas County

A machine shed fire in rural Douglas County destroyed a building and claimed the lives of several chickens on Monday morning.

At 6:03 a.m. firefighters were dispatched to 1966 North 1500 Road, northwest of Eudora, for a report of a structure fire, said Wakarusa Township Fire Chief Mike Baxter. Crews first on the scene found a machine shop fully engulfed in flames.

Inside the shop were “some old tractor parts … and some old household furnishings,” in addition to some chickens, Baxter said.

Firefighters from both the Wakarusa and Eudora fire departments began battling the flames in the machine shop while also spraying a nearby hay-filled barn with water to prevent the fire from spreading, Baxter said.

While the fire destroyed the machine shop and everything inside, the nearby barn was spared, Baxter said.

The shop was approximately 60 feet by 90 feet long, Baxter said.

“It was a pretty good sized machine shop,” he said.

One firefighter suffered a heat-related sickness, Baxter said. But otherwise no injuries were reported.

“We just cooled him off with ice packs, hydration, water,” he said. “He rested and then he was able to return home.”

The cause of the fire has not been determined. It is currently under investigation, but it does not appear to be suspicious, Baxter said.

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