Fire guts Plantersville farm shed

PLANTERSVILLE – A morning fire that gutted a Plantersville storage facility produced black plumes of smoke that were visible for miles.
No one was hurt in the blaze, and its cause is still under investigation.
The fire started shortly before 11 a.m. at Barber Farms off County Road 814 and was fully engaged by the time firefighters arrived, said Plantersville Fire Capt. John Foster.
In addition to the Plantersville Volunteer Fire Department, Union and Richmond Volunteer Fire teams also responded.
Mike and Sheila Barber operate the farm, which produces corn, soybeans and peanuts. The couple had left for Florida earlier that morning on a church youth camp trip, said James Matthews, brother to Sheila Barber and owner of the 100 or so acres of land.
According to Manta.com, the farm started in 1984 and has two employees. Its estimated annual sales were listed at $125,000.
Matthews said the couple was notified, as were insurance agents.
“We’ve got an investigator down there, and the insurance investigator is down there, and it will probably take them three or four days to decide on it,” said Plantersville Fire Chief Tommy Montz. “There was so much metal and debris.”
As firefighters scrambled to quell the flames, several pieces of machinery could be seen burning in the intense blaze. The roughly 7,500-square-foot shed contained tractor trailers, combines, wagons, tractors, tires and at least one automobile.
Friends and family members rushed to the scene, watching in disbelief or wiping tears from their eyes. Many said they had seen the smoke billowing up from various parts of the county, including downtown Tupelo some five miles away.
“That building has been up since we bought the property 30 years ago,” Matthews said. “I have no idea what started that fire.”

Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@djournal.com.

Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal