WDAY: The News Leader

Published May 05, 2011, 09:28 AM

Washed out roads prevent crews from getting to a rural house fire

Enderlin, ND (WDAY TV) - It's a problem for rural fire crews and it's getting worse. Flood waters are washing out roads, preventing crews from getting to a fire. One Barnes County home is a total loss because fire trucks simply could not get to it.

Enderlin Fire Chief Duane Skramstad has never had his department watch helplessly as a home burned to the ground until a week ago.

DUANE SKRAMSTAD - Enderlin Fire Chief: "We've never had where you can’t get to the farmstead. And every year it just gets worse."

The Loibl family who politely declined to go on camera has lived in this home for 27-years. Neighbors spotted a fire on the farmstead while the Loibl's were are work, but there was no chance fire crews were going to put it out.

Just like fire crews that night, we had to walk 2-miles past washed out roads just to get to the Loibl's driveway. As you see it’s even washed out. So fire trucks could not get in to save the home.

Duane Skramstad: "Just as bad as last year, if not worse as last year. I mean it's the same thing last year, you just hope and pray you never have to go on a call like that."

Because the farm is on the county line, Ransom County authorities responded. And with more than 70-road closures in the county, crews are waiting and hoping rural homeowners do all they can to prevent a fire.

Duane Skramstad: "You try and have a reputation of saving every home as much as you can anyway. But yea, it’s really frustrating."

Crews eventually got to the farm and used buckets of water to prevent the fire from spreading to other buildings.