Fire chief says barn fire caused by soaked rags

BROOKLINE – Fire Chief Charles Corey says a fire that destroyed a barn at 48 Mason Road on Sunday was caused by oil-based, stain-soaked rags that combusted.

The fire, which required mutual aid from departments in Milford, Wilton, Hollis, Mason and Townsend, Mass., destroyed the roughly 200-year-old barn owned by Peter Webb, the town moderator.

Corey said the fire broke out close to 5 p.m. Sunday and required a second alarm “for manpower.”

Neighboring fire departments provided additional tankers, Corey said. An estimated 40 firefighters were at the scene.

Corey, whose roots to the town go back a number of generations, said a distant relative of his built the barn.

The chief said he lacked information about the value of the property.

The owner has met with his insurance company, Corey added.

According to Corey, it took firefighters about an hour to get the blaze under control. Corey said several sheds near the barn were exposed to the fire caused by a chemical reaction, but they suffered little more than some blistered paint.
The chief said Webb, the property owner, used the old barn for storage.

Hattie Bernstein can be reached at 673-3100, ext. 24, or