Travis Haskell was attending a wedding with his wife in Centralia on Saturday when his phone started to incessantly vibrate.

When he figured that whomever was calling was not about to give up the quest, he slipped out of the wedding to answer, thinking it must something important.

Travis Haskell was attending a wedding with his wife in Centralia on Saturday when his phone started to incessantly vibrate.

When he figured that whomever was calling was not about to give up the quest, he slipped out of the wedding to answer, thinking it must something important.

It was very important.

Neighbors were frantically calling to tell Haskell a barn was on fire at the operation owned by Haskell Farms LLC about five miles south of Paris. Haskell operates the farm with his father, Ben, and his brother, Jason.

“We quietly left the wedding to head home,” Haskell said. “When we got about a mile out of Centralia, we could see the fire.”

It was a sinking feeling, he said.

The fire was large. Haskell spotted smoke about 20-plus miles from home. Observers said the fire was intense and flames were rising high in the sky, with a huge plume of smoke rising hundreds of feet in the air over the rural farm fields.

“When got home, it was still burning,” Haskell said.

As the flames subsided, the damage was assessed. The barn, worth about $80,000, was destroyed. Two manure wagons with a combined price tag of $80,000 – gone. Three trucks also worth about $80,000, all but disintegrated. And 400 round bales of hard-to-get hay because of the ongoing drought, up in flames. Another $30,000 up in smoke. The hay was intended for the farm’s cattle.

And it could have been worse. His neighbors came rushing to the barn and removed equipment from the area, saving thousands of more dollars in damage.

“I want to thank everyone who helped,” Haskell said. “It would have been worse … Two neighbors saw what was happening and before we got back, they were moving equipment away from the barn.”

On Monday morning, the fire was still smoldering in the charred stack of remaining hay, with small smoke plumes scattered around the remnants of the barn. Haskell said the fire would likely continue smoldering for several days more.

Haskell said that the farm’s losses will be covered by insurance, and that several other farmers have offered him assistance.

“I’ve already has several people offer me … first choice for hay,” he said.

Haskell said that it will be several days before debris could be hauled away as the fire needs to subside and the farm’s insurance company needs to review the damage.

“I just want to say that we really appreciate our neighbors and the fire departments that responded,” he said.