WESTON - A 103-year-old shop on Wildhorse Road near Weston was destroyed by fire Thursday afternoon.
The structure, owned by Patricia Reinhart, was being rented by the caretakers of Reinhart's property. The house was not threatened by the fire.
Don Jackson, chief of the East Umatilla County Fire District, said his department was called out at 5:18 p.m. and returned from the blaze at around 8:45 p.m. It sent two engines and a water tender to the fire. Mutual aid assistance was provided by the Umatilla Tribal and Athena fire departments. Jackson said local farmers also helped fight the blaze.
The wood-framed structure was used as a barn as well as a shop, he said, and the two sections shared a common floor. The structure measured about 30 feet by 60 feet. It was fully engulfed in flames when the fire department arrived at the scene.
There were three other sheds relatively close to the fire and one of them caught on fire, but firefighters were able to extinguish it, Jackson said.
Firefighters used 5,000 to 6,000 gallons of water to fight the fire, as well as foam, since gas byproducts, oil and at least one propane tank were inside the building. In addition, hay belonging to Bill Gentry had recently been stored in the barn.
"It was basically surround and drown," Jackson said of the firefighting effort.
He said that there was no clear indication of what started the fire, which remains under investigation.
"I'm doing follow up today (Friday), to see if we can come up with a cause," he said. He speculated that the fire's source might have been electrical because of the age of the building.