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A barn was destroyed by fire Sunday evening in the northwest part of Dubois County.

Just after 6:30 last night firefighters with the Dubois Volunteer Fire Department were called to the report of a barn on fire possibly struck by lightning at the Dennis and Mary Pankey Farm .

Dubois Public Information Officer Zach Eichmiller says a neighbor called in the report after a close lightning strike. Upon arrival, Eichmiller says firefighters found a 60 x 60 foot barn almost destroyed already by flames. He says the farm was located a long ways of Cuzco Road North.

The building had about 40 large round bales of hay, a tractor, two hay rakes, a hay tedder, and a square baler. Firefighters tried to save some of the equipment but most of it was destroyed. The most valuable piece of equipment, a John Deere model 5400 tractor, was located in the center of the building and was indeed destroyed.

Now most of the fire was able to be extinguished except for a number of bales which Eichmiller says were burning hot. A track hoe was brought in by Freyberger Farms out of Dubois, to bury the burning bales to prevent any embers from reaching a nearby barn.

The Pankeys do not live on the property.

Dennis Pankey told fire investigators he had been at the barn earlier in the day to check on the cattle and that nothing was out of the ordinary. He also stated that the building was insured. 30 firemen with 3 trucks responded and were on the scene for about 6 hours.

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