Controlled burn damages barn unexpectedly

BLOOMINGTON - Flames in a controlled burn intended to destroy two vacant structures Thursday afternoon in Bloomington unexpectedly caught a barn on fire.

No one was injured in the blaze that occurred about 3 p.m. in the 200 block of South Rail Avenue, said Roger Hempel, battalion chief of the Victoria Fire Department.

Hempel said brush near the vacant homes ignited and then spread to the barn, which was also empty. The fire was near power lines, so officials turned off electricity in the neighborhood until the fire was under control again.

Lupe Montalbo, a neighbor, was returning home when he noticed all the smoke and fire trucks.

"I thought it was my house burning," he said. "My mom asked if I left anything turned on."

He said the vacant barn was owned by a man who had died and wasn't certain who was caring for the property.