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  Volume No. 12 Issue No. 2 February 2015  

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Feature Stories
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  Follow up: Big R fire
  R.E. Monks assists firefighters
  By Robin Widmar
  Photos by Sean Tafoya, FFPD

   The Jan. 24 fire that destroyed a hay barn and its contents at the Falcon Big R store did not severely affect service to customers. Firefighters prevented the fire from spreading into the feed storage building next to the hay barn, and hay supplies continued to roll in even as the debris smoldered. The store’s main building was not damaged by the fire.
   In the days afterward, Mark Hall, Big R assistant manager, said, “Our main focus was to make sure we had products for our customers and their livestock. We were able to replace supplies very quickly. It’s business as usual.”
   Lt. Jeff Kramer, public information officer for the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, said county fire investigators had not yet released the cause of the fire, which also burned 15 acres of open field adjacent to the barn.
   The Falcon Fire Protection District responded to the fire and received mutual aid assistance from Peyton Fire Protection District, Ellicott Fire Department and Black Forest Fire/Rescue. Since there were no hydrants or other water supply sources at the fire scene, fire department tankers hauled in water. FFPD also contacted R.E. Monks Construction Co. of Colorado Springs, which offered – at no charge – a driver and a water truck equipped with spray bars. R.E. Monks also donated water from a holding tank at its Vollmer Road yard. The water truck, along with the front-end loader and operator hired by Big R to spread out the burning hay and debris for extinguishment, “made a big difference,” said FFPD Battalion Chief Cory Galicia.
   Firefighters remained on the scene for a full day after the fire to monitor hot spots. “If it weren’t for the assistance from R.E. Monks, fire units would have remained on scene much longer,” Galicia said.


Click to enlarge.
The Big R hay barn roof collapsed but firefighters were able to save the fire from spreading to nearby buildings.

Click to enlarge.
A front end loader is tearing down the rest of the hay barn.

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