‘The main thing is everyone’s ok’

UNSCATHED grain dryers provide the backdrop to what once was a machine shed on the James Fultz farm east of town. Photos / Per Peterson

An early-morning fire Monday destroyed a machine shed and its contents at Fultz Farms

By Per Peterson

Stacie Buysse would just as soon not be an insomniac, but it’s a good thing she is.

Awake and on her feet after 2 a.m. Monday, Buysse noticed something odd as she looked out a window of her house to the west.

“I couldn’t sleep, so I got up, looked out the window and saw red and a bunch of smoke,” Buysse said. “I figured I’d better go wake up Chad, and I told him I think there’s a fire — he said, ‘Here?’ I said ‘No, somewhere over there.”

That “over there” was at the James Fultz farm. What Buysse saw was Fultz’s machine shed going up in flames. Chad, Stacie’s husband, called 911 and took off for the Fultz farm.

“I’m thankful I saw it,” Stacie said. “The one good thing that comes out of insomnia. I’m just thankful nobody was hurt.”

That’s a sentiment that was shared Monday morning on the Fultz farm, as the stench of charred remains lingered through the cool, February air.

“Just glad nobody’s hurt,” James said Monday. “That’s the main thing. You can always replace stuff, but you can’t replace people.”

Fultz said inside the shed were four pickups, two tractors, an old dump truck and an excavator, among other miscellaneous items. Fultz said he was awoken by a phone call from Jay Fultz.

“Thank God for Chad and Stacie,” James said. “Honestly if Stacie didn’t see it, we’d have been way up the creek without a paddle. Jay woke me up about 2:20, and I ran outside and said holy … smokes. After that it was just kind of a blur.”

Tracy Fire Chief Dale Johnson III said the fire department received the call at 2:18 a.m. Monday.

“The back two-thirds of the building were fully engulfed, the wall was missing on the south side and the roof was gone,” Johnson said, describing the scene upon his arrival. “The roof had started to collapse on the south third, but the walls were still standing — I believe the equipment in there was holding the walls up.”

Johnson said other than it being a bit chilly, the conditions were fine for fire fighting. He said when the temp dips below 32 degrees, things can get challenging.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.