Arsonists Hit Same Barn Twice, Causing $300,000 Damage

By: Parrish Alleman Email
By: Parrish Alleman Email

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Monday, September 24, 2012

A Cowley County farmer is still trying to recover after arsonists set fire to his barn not once, but twice in two days causing $300,000 worth of damage.

It happened in late July near 141st and 296th road in Cowley county. Sheriff's investigators say they have no leads or clues to lead them to the crooks, so they've made it their Crimestoppers crime of the month hoping to solve the case.

Gilbert Rahn has raised cows on his land in Cowley county for 47 years. And in spite of this year's drought, he says had plenty of hay for his cows plus enough to sell to a few loyal customers. All that changed, the last weekend of July.

"You know we've been through floods and droughts but I’ve never had one like this before,” Gilbert Rahn said.

Rahn says he had 1700 bails of hay stored in his barn. Friday, July 27, he got a call a little before seven in the morning. His barn was on fire.

"I come out here and luckily I got out here on time and there was four different places we saw at the barn where they tried to set it on fire,” Rahn said.

They got that fire out in time. But just two days later, Rahn got a second phone call. This time, he says it was too late.

"The barn, it was gone. I got here and everything was on fire,” Rahn said.

The Cowley county sheriff says they believe someone set Rahn's barn on fire intentionally because the fires were started in several places.

"I'd just like to know why, because you know it don't mean anything to them,” Rahn said.

Rahn says he's already had to call his customers who were depending on the hay inside his barn.

"You know I’ve been furnishing them hay for years and years and especially this year with the drought situation, it'd be hard to find hay,” Rahn said.

As for him, he says he doesn't have enough hay to feed his own 350 cows and will most likely have to sell some.

The Cowley county Crimestoppers are offering a reward of up to $1000 dollars for any information that leads to an arrest. If you have any information you're asked to call them at 620-221-7777 or 620-442-7777.


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