MONROE COUNTY, Ind. – Emergency crews in Monroe County had a busy night involving a crashed vehicle, a lost hiker, a barn fire and more.
According to the Monroe Fire Protection District, firefighters responded to four different scenes in the span of about three-and-a-half hours in the early morning hours of July 4.
It started just after a 1 a.m. Monday, when crews were called to North Tunnel Road for a crash involving a UTV (utility task vehicle) that had rolled over. The UTV was upside down when first responders arrived.
Witnesses said the driver flipped the UTV upright on its wheels. The driver was still in the vehicle when help arrived. The driver was taken to the hospital for further evaluation. The UTV was heavily damaged.
A few minutes after that, the district received two calls around the same time. One was from a lost hiker on the Pate Hollow trail in Paynetown. Firefighters fanned out in two different directions in an effort to find the hiker, who stayed in contact with firefighters via phone.
The hiker was unable to yell and hit a stick against a tree to guide rescuers in the right direction. After about two hours of searching, firefighters located the hiker, who was uninjured.
Crews said the hiker had simply gotten lost and didn’t know where to go.
Several units responded to a pole born fire on Schact Road around the same time of the hiker search. Crews found the detached barn fully engulfed. After getting the fire under control, crews spent several hours pulling sheet metal and debris from the structure, exposing additional hotspots.
It appeared a piece of equipment inside the pole barn had sparked the fire. The homeowners tried to put it out with a fire extinguisher but were unsuccessful, prompting them to call 911 as the fire quickly spread.
The structure was a total loss.
Around 4:30 a.m., after clearing the fire and the hiker calls, units were dispatched to a vehicle fire at Woodland Springs Apartments.
Crews arrived to find a minivan on fire. The owner of the vehicle noticed it was on fire and moved it away from other vehicles.
By the time the individual came back with the fire extinguisher, the fire was out of control.
Firefighters quickly extinguished the flames. The fire remains under investigation.