Arson may be cause for the blaze at the High Star Ranch in Kamas
Damages are estimated to be $1.5 million
A fire at a High Star Ranch Barn in Kamas early Friday morning caused an estimated $1.5 million worth of damage to the building and authorities suspect an arsonist is responsible for the blaze.
The South Summit Fire Protection District responded to the High Star Ranch, home of the DeJoria Center, on Thursday at approximately 12:44 a.m., according to South Summit Fire Chief Scott Anderson.
Anderson said when fire crews arrived the flames had completely engulfed the structure, which is used to store hay and ranch equipment. Three engines, two water tankers and 18 volunteer fire fighters were on scene.
“The roof was already collapsing and it was spreading from that barn to an adjacent horse trailer and another barn full of hay as soon as we arrived,” Anderson said. “They put up protection lines and stopped it from going any further from the building it was involved in.”
No evacuations were made and Anderson said no nearby homes were threatened. However, he added, “There were 20 horses in a barn adjacent across the roadway and then additional horses that were in a corral nearby.” Anderson said staff tended to the horses while crews gained control of the blaze.
Crews were on scene battling the flames for nearly three hours. Anderson said haystack fires can smolder for several days before they are completely extinguished.
Damage to the nearly 300-foot structure is estimated at $1.5 million.
Anderson said the exact cause of the fire is still unknown pending the outcome of an investigation, but authorities are “very confident” its arson because an accelerant was found in the barn.
The state fire marshal is leading the investigation, with the assistance of the Kamas Police Department and the South Summit Fire Protection District.
High Star Ranch is offering a reward for information that leads to the successful prosecution of a suspect, according to a press release.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Kamas Police Department at 435-783-4344.