On the 21st of October, 2011, at 11.10. PM the Mayville fire crew was called to a barn fire near the city. The fire crew, including three firefighters and a brigade manager started off to stop the fire reported by a motorist driving past the farm. The farm was not used as a permanent residence, and it was used mainly for storage. The cause of the fire – as later revealed by the CSI investigators – was electrical fault in the ventilating system of the barn.
As barn fires can spread fast and it was a windy day in Mayville, with a speed of upto 35 mph, the crew used the bypass roads to access the property. The administration crew tried to get hold of the owner, however, they were not able to. Meanwhile, the fire crew started to fight the flames, and despite the strong wind and darkness, killed the fire in under 30 minutes.
The brigade manager of the Orange Firefighting unit in Mayville, Mr Gordon said that timing was crucial, because of the bad weather conditions. Although there was not a great amount of traffic on the roads in the evening, as it was a Wednesday, they still had to make sure that they would get to the scene as soon as possible.
Mrs Hoppendale, the motorist, living in the next village. Oaks, who reported the fire said: “All I saw in the dark was loads of smoke and the flame. I knew that there would possibly be nobody near the farm, as the people have a house in the city. They have rented out the place for a few months last year, but the tenants have left a long time ago.” She pulled over and called the fire department’s number to report the incident.
Meanwhile, the owner of the farm confirmed that the property was empty, and that the structural damage is substantial.