By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Fire razes barn on edge of Carlton

CARLTON — A large barn burned to the ground early Monday morning on a property at the east edge of Carlton that’s been the subject of debate in recent months.

No one was injured. The cause had not yet been determined at press time.

The two-story barn was full of hay, machinery and other items, according to Jordan Davis of the Carlton Fire Department. It was engulfed in flames by the time the first firefighters arrived at 2:14 a.m.

Davis said he could see the glow as he was driving from his home west of town to the fire hall. He immediately called for a second alarm, bringing in extra personnel and equipment from Yamhill, McMinnville, Lafayette and other stations.

“It had been burning awhile,” when he reached the scene, he said.

People at the scene told firefighters no one was inside the structure, Jordan said.

Firefighters prevented the blaze from spreading. By the time fire investigators arrived about 4 a.m., “everything was pretty much gone,” he said.

Personnel and equipment had good access to the scene from Hendricks Road, Jordan said. However, “there was a lot of stuff on the property to work around. A lot of cars.”

In October, owner Rodger Schneider, 59, was convicted of code violations for solid waste accumulation and allowing people to live in campers and RVs on his property, past the allowed time span.

Schneider, who since has died, failed to show up for the trial and lost by default.

County Code Enforcement Officer Mike Kemper told Judge Cynthia Easterday the county had been working with Schneider since May to clean up the property, but that he had been uncooperative.

He told Easterday there were numerous RVs and campers on the property as well as large accumulations of random objects, such as old, partly disassembled vehicles and refrigerators. One of the campers appeared to be supplied with electricity from the house on the property, through an extension cord strung through a window, Kemper said.

Kemper said the county would obtain an injunction to clean up the property, and bill Schneider for the cost, and that the tenants would have to vacate the property.

Prior to Monday’s fire, there were signs that cleanup work had started on the site.

Reporter Nicole Montesano contributed to this story.

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