RINGWOOD - Multiple explosions inside a barn near Peters Mine in Ringwood destroyed the barn and caused a brush fire Wednesday morning.
Vivian Milligan and her family were in bed around 8:00 a.m. when she heard a loud explosion.
"I put my shade up and I heard another one. I looked, and all of a sudden the flames were shooting up out here and smoke,” she said.
Milligan said she was also worried that gases in the underground mines that are spread throughout Ringwood would ignite.
“All the mines are connected,” she said. “This really could have been a serious tragedy.”
When fire crews arrived, there were more explosions coming from the 100-year-old barn. Assistant Fire Chief John Livesey said that the fire was most likely fueled by propane or paint cans that were stored inside.
The fire damaged a nearby telephone pole and boat, and then spread to the forest. None of the homes were damaged.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Millgan said that she wonders if it was intentionally set. She said that she is a known activist on the Ford Superfund issue that Ringwood has been dealing with. Milligan added that there have been recent threats against the Ramapough Nation in the area.