Pine Island barn burns down, arson suspected

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A fire ravaged an Orange County barn stocked with thousands of dollars worth of farming equipment Tuesday night.

The flames engulfed Joe Lipinski?s barn, located on Newport Bridge Road in Pine Island, leaving behind ruined cars, trucks and farming machinery valued at around $100,000.

?There was popping, almost like a loud 'roar' sound,? says Susan Chappell, of Pine Island, who witnessed the blaze. ?I think a lot of the cars that were destroyed were making a lot of noises, hissing noises.?

Firefighters arrived at the scene to put out the blaze, but they say not much of the machinery stored in the barn could be saved at that point.

?We were doing everything we could to save what we could,? says Assistant Fire Chief Pete O?Conner, ?and obviously it did have a pretty good start before we got here.?

Lipinski?s friends and fellow farmers believe the fire was set intentionally, although no one knows who might have started the blaze.

Firefighters say arson is considered as one possible cause of the fire, but so far investigators have not determined how it started.

It is the second time the Lipinski family has lost a barn. In the past, other farmers in Pine Island suffered a similar fate.

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