Confusing radio traffic sends firefighters scrambling to find fire

MITCHELL – Firefighters from Marion Township responded to a report of a barn fire at 200 Mill Creek Road at 11:08 p.m. Monday.

Mitchell Volunteer Fire Department firefighters were also alerted to the blaze.

Shawswick VFD was requested at 11:15 p.m. to provide tanker support.

“The fire was initially dispatched. However, there was an issue and some of Marion Fire’s radios did not alert. It was mixed up, some alerted twice, some once, and some not at all,” said Marion VFD Chief Paul Gillespie. “The location given would have been the new Lehigh office building. This prompted a massive response.”

The actual location of the fire was at 620 Meridian Road and was a vacant pole barn.

Mitchell Engine 5 arrived on the scene and found the barn engulfed in flames.

Marion VFD firefighters arrived on the scene and were able to utilize a nearby fire hydrant and had Shawswick Fire VFD firefighters disregard responding.

The fire was brought under control quickly and units were able to return to service. 

“The property is owned by Lehigh and they have been contacted,” added Chief Gillespie. “An investigation was performed Wednesday. There were no utilities running to the structure so the fire is believed to have been set or accidental. Witnesses did state that they saw people going in and out of the structure. But the identities are unknown. The cause was undetermined after investigation. I will be contacting the State Fire Marshal’s office to report the suspicious fire.”