Our barn burned early Sunday morning.
Everyone was in bed at the House 'n Barn when a passerby pulled in the driveway blowing the horn and yelling, "Your barn's on fire!"
Betsy was the first one up. She grabbed the phone and called 911 as she raced to the goat barn. The passerby helped her pull the seven pregnant goats and the billy goat from the goat barn.
The rest of the goats, the horse, cow and sheep were housed in other parts of the farm. All of the chickens and turkeys, except five hens that showed up in our flowerbed this morning (one which managed to lay an egg in the driveway), were lost. Five of the cats, including one with singed fur, are hanging around and we expect a few more might crawl back home in the next few hours.
Julie and I got a call at midnight and we arrived a few minutes after the firetrucks. Three townships responded and they fought and controlled the blaze for six hours. The barn and surrounding outbuildings--milk house, goat barn, tool shed--were reduced to smoldering piles.
Lauren Mae's car was parked beside the fuel barrels. The inside is completely blackened. The ground is charred around the fuel barrels, but the gasoline and diesel fuel tanks did not catch on fire. When Mom called Julie, she described sparks flying toward the barrels. The wind was blowing that direction. She and Julie prayed that they wouldn't catch on fire. The first thing the firemen did (after driving the water truck into the strawberry bed where it got stuck) was spray the barrels with water. The barrels, and the fuel inside them, remained unharmed.
The most immediate concern is situating the goats who are due to kid in a few days, if not hours. After that, we will have to clean up. My brothers suffered considerable loss since their shop was in the east bay of the barn. Aaron lost thousands and thousands of dollars of tools. Welders, air compressors, drill press, air conditioning units, diagnostic equipment... Logan's four-wheeler and the rebuild engine for his tractor Allis were also completely destroyed. We don't even have a hand shovel to use to begin cleaning the mess.
Our clothes smell like smoke. Our bodies are exhausted from a night of trauma.
We are thankful, but also sorrowful.
|An excavator spreading smoldering ruins and hay|
|Lauren Mae's car beside the fuel barrels|
|Brian clearing a path to drive a pickup truck to haul water for his animals|
|A few of Aaron's hand tools recovered from the ashes|