Child playing with torch ignites fire that destroys Torrey barn

Gwen Chamberlain
The barn at 2456 Route 14 in the Town of Torrey was fully involved and partially collapsed before fire fighting equipment arrived. For more photos, see the gallery below.

Yates County Sheriff's Department investigators say a fire that destroyed a barn on the Raymond Zimmerman farm at 2456 Route 14, Penn Yan, was started by a child playing with a torch July 6.

The Dresden Fire Department was dispatched to the farm at about 11 a.m. to find the barn fully involved in the blaze and partially collapsed.

Deputy Richard Simpson, who was first on the scene, reports a young child playing with a torch ignited some hay which was stored in the barn. The fire spread and completely destroyed the 50' x 125' structure and its contents, including at least two tractors.

The Dresden Fire Department was assisted by Bellona, Benton, Dundee Himrod, Penn Yan and West Lake Road Fire Departments. Other departments were on standby for several hours.

Although the main fire was extinguished in the mid-afternoon, firefighters and equipment were called back to the scene later in the day, when the pile of smoldering hay re-ignited; and spread to a nearby field and wooded area.