Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Disaster Strikes the Family Farm
Last night at 10:53 our phone rang. It's never a good thing to receive a call that late. my husband Doug answered, I was in the living room knitting on Icarus and he was in the bedroom folding the laundry (yes, I know, he's one in a million). Out he came and said something about a barn fire. He was going down to drive his dad over to the other farm.
Here's a little background. My father-in-law Larry and his brother Frank were dairy farmers their whole lives as was their father before them and so on. They sold the herds and retired about 12 years ago. Larry and Joyce live on the original family farm that's been in the family for generations and Doug and I live up on the hill behind them. Frank and his family live on farms that were purchased during the 40's on another road about 3 miles from us. The fire was at the farm occupied by one of Frank's sons.
I followed Doug and Larry over to the other farm and we could see the glow in the sky while we were still a mile away. It was raining, thankfully, and had been raining for most of the day and the night before. Everything was soaked and so the fire didn't spread into the fields which had been tinder-dry 3 days before.
Here is a link to the very preliminary story in our local paper. The photo above was taken by one of their photographers. I took some pictures with my phone.
This one shows the silo and the adjacent wagon shed which was saved.
This one shows the front of the barn where the fire was burning very high. Do you see the creepy bat-like formation in the center? It looks like two big bat ears, two glowing eyes, and a firey mouth.
Here is a better view of the silo. The heat buckled the side (you can sort of see it a little over halfway up the side) of it but it didn't collapse. It was empty so that probably helped. The blue in the upper left corner is my umbrella.
Larry and Frank told the fire crews to just let it burn since it was too far gone to be saved. It was full of hay and the bales burn very slowly.
None of the family or firefighters were injured and there aren't any cows on the farm anymore. No one was able to get a count of the barn cats last night but hopefully they all made it out ok. We have no idea as yet how it started.