Despite blaze, Thumb farm family ‘doing all right’
Firefighters say Matt Ricker lost a “large” farm shed – filled with machines – Monday, but Ricker and his relatives are carrying on.
“We’re doing all right,” Matt Ricker told The Advertiser on Thursday.
“Nobody got hurt, and everything’s replaceable, so it’s not a big deal.”
The shed and its contents at Ricker Farms at 5100 Maxwell Road in Huron County’s Grant Township “was a total loss, and there was nothing salvageable,” said Owendale Fire Department Chief Ed Champagne.
Champagne believes the fire began accidentally. His department was sent to the scene about 9:30 a.m.
The cause “was undetermined by me – they had an insurance investigator out there yesterday but I haven’t heard the determination yet,” Champagne said Thursday.
“I don’t know the exact size of the building, but it was a large shed,” Champagne added. He declined to estimate the total value of the lost equipment and structure.
“I’d say the building is probably (worth) $200,000,” Champagne said. “She was a nice shed, with a steel roof and steel walls.”
The fire chief said Ricker family members have kept working in the fields, despite Monday’s blaze along Maxwell Road north of Huron Line Road and south of Bach Road.
“They were threshing wheat Tuesday,” Champagne said. “They had some other equipment at another farm.”
Champagne said Ricker Farms workers include Matt Ricker and Ricker’s brother, Kit Ricker, along with Matt Ricker’s two sons.
Champagne said the blaze was discovered by Matt Ricker’s wife, but that the fire didn’t damage the Ricker family home or spread to other buildings.
“There was one big four-wheel-drive tractor in the shed, and a combine, and a beet harvester, and dump trailers,” Champagne said. “I think his planter was in there, too.”
Owendale Fire Department members received assistance from the Oliver Township and Winsor Township departments, which brought help including firefighters and water.
“They brought manpower and the whole shebang,” Champagne said.
The Elkland Township and Elmwood Township departments provided water in tankers, Champagne said.
“You need all the water you can get,” said Champagne, noting he cleared the fire scene just after 2 p.m. Monday.
Tom Gilchrist is a staff writer for The Advertiser. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.