MEDINA TWP. — Medina Fire Chief Bob Painter said there were no reported injuries, human or otherwise, after a fire broke out Sunday evening in a horse barn on the property of Willow Creek Veterinary Services.
The Medina Fire Department received a call reporting the fire 6:45 p.m. Sunday, Painter said.
“I live right around the corner,” Painter said Monday of the property at 3578 Hamlin Road. “I was there within a couple minutes and it was fully involved and the roof was already caving in.”
Painter said there were no animals in the 40-by-48 foot horse barn when the incident occurred.
“They had two horses, but they were out because of the warm weather, out in the pasture, there were no injuries,” he said.
According to its website, Willow Creek Veterinary Services is a “mixed animal veterinary practice” established by Dr. Sarah Gebhart in 2009.
Gebhart declined to comment on the fire Monday.
“Right now, they believe that they had a mechanical problem with one of the trucks and they had put it on a battery charger,” Painter said. “They wanted to get ready for the Super Bowl and the neighbors came over and said, ‘your barn is on fire.’ ”
Painter said there was another structure nearby the barn that was on fire, and crews turned their attention to making sure the fire did not spread.
Firefighters were forced to relay water to the scene from Hamlin and Weymouth Roads due to how far back the structure sits on the property.
“We had, I believe, just over 2,000 feet of 4-inch line out trying to relay water back to the scene,” Painter said.
Both Sharon Township and Granger township fire departments also responded to the fire.
Gina Tabasso of Brunswick said Monday that she has been going to Willow Creek Veterinary Services ever since Gebhart helped her when her horse was in dire need of medical attention.
Tabasso said the veterinarian she had utilized for 23 years was located far away, and her horse developed a colic that needed immediate attention.
“My vet was on a call and they said they probably couldn’t get there for two hours and (said) it seemed critical, if you can get someone else to come out faster who is closer to you do it and Willow Creek was the one, they called me back right away,” Tabasso said. “They took care of my horse.”
Roughly six months later, Gebhart helped Tabasso again when her horse had complications following some dental work and stopped eating and drinking.
“She didn’t cause the problem, it was the dentist who caused the problem,” Tabasso said. “She coached me and talked me through it and checked on me and was just there for us the whole way through the process.”
It was after this experience that Tabasso opted to make Gebhart her permanent veterinarian.
“I can’t thank them enough for how they got me through that critical situation,” Tabasso said.
Painter said it took firefighters about one hour to put out the fire, but they returned Monday morning to extinguish “hot spots” due to all the straw.
The barn is considered a total loss, he said.