Brown Township building fire still investigation


ANSONIA — It still has not been determined what caused the fire in the building which houses Brown Township road equipment on Wednesday.

Ansonia Fire Chief Bill Clark reported fire marshals were on the scene Thursday and insurance investigators were expected to be there Friday. It was still under investigation at the time this information was received.

“It will take awhile; it’s a real head-scratcher,” said Clark. “It’s got us baffled.”

Assistant Fire Chief Dusty Brunner, who was in command at the fire, said it is not believed to be suspicious in nature and noted that fire marshals had been out to investigate.

Clark reported there was no real trouble battling the blaze weather-wise; however, the building and how it collapsed posed a problem to firefighters, making it difficult to get close to the scene.

“The fire was contained about 10 p.m.,” Clark said.

Clark reported that the incident was called in at 4:50 p.m. as an explosion and possible entrapment.

“Gary Middleton [who lives near the fire scene] called it in and thought I was working in there,” said Brown Township Trustee Ed Huff Jr. “I was out salting bridges. When I was coming off of Potter-Lyons Road and down [State Route] 118, I saw all that smoke. It was like a raging bull.”

Huff said he left the building around 3:50 or 4 p.m. en route to salting the bridges.

“When I left, everything was fine,” he said. “The township stored its trucks and mowers in there. We lost a dump truck and township tractor and mower.”

Huff said he even lost his personal/business truck which was parked nearby.

“I couldn’t even get close to my truck,” said Huff, who has his own home inspection business. “I’m out of business and have canceled my home inspections for the next two weeks.”

He, too is unsure what could have happened.

“It blew the top section out on the garage door,” he said.

The Quonset building that caught fire used to be the bus barn for Ansonia Local School District. Brown Township trustees purchased it six or seven years ago at a school auction.

“We put in concrete 40 x 60 on the front part and sprayed-foamed it, after we bought it,” he said.

Huff, who is president of the Darke County Township Association and secretary-treasurer of the Ohio Township Association, is appreciative of the various trustees in other areas of the county have offered to help Brown Township with snow removal if needed.

By Linda Moody

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This writer may be reached at 937-569-4315. Follow her on Facebook and join the conversation and get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to

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