One of Genesee County's grandest of the old barns collapsed today.
A good portion of the yellow barn next to the Stafford Fire Hall on Main Road, Stafford, simply gave way about 1:45 p.m.
Stafford Fire Chief Bill Plaisted said residents heard a lot of creaking coming from the old barn -- probably built in the 1830s -- all this morning.
Firefighters used a thermal-imaging camera to ensure nobody was trapped in the structure.
Plaisted said the barn was likely headed for demolition soon anyway. The owner wanted to donate it to the department for a controlled burn for firefighting practice, but Plaisted said before that could happen, workers would have been required to remove the shingles from the roof.
"Looking at it now, that wouldn't have been safe," Plaisted said.
He also recalled a local resident telling him how years ago there was a basketball court on the second floor. From the second floor to the ceiling, it was so high, he said, that nobody could throw a ball from the floor up into the rafters. That's how big the barn was.
In April 2010, I took a photo of the barn (bottom photo in this post) that proved pretty popular. UMMC purchased a large canvas print of the photograph to hang in its new surgical wing (the print has since been moved to another part of the hospital). To view a larger online version (or to purchase a print of the picture, click here).