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Lifeline Dairy barn destroyed by fire

 

The remains of the historic barn at Lifeline Dairy west of Victor that was totally destroyed by fire on Friday evening. Lifeline Dairy is a fixture in the valley, known for its organic milk and cheese. Michael Howell photo.

When the large red barn at Lifeline Dairy burned to the ground last Friday evening around 10:30 pm the flames could be seen for miles around.

Jennifer Holmes was there when it happened but by the time she saw the flames and called 911 the barn was already engulfed. She said that a neighbor showed up immediately and helped battled the blaze with a garden hose. The fire trucks began to arrive fairly quickly, she said, “although it seemed like forever.” She said  the barn burned quickly, sparks were flying everywhere and then some welding tanks exploded.

“It’s amazing to me that anyone would volunteer to come to a fire like this. It was very dangerous,” she said. She said she was thankful for all the friends and strangers, volunteer firemen who did respond.

Holmes said that the fire appeared to have started in the area of a pig pen where some heat lamps had been deployed. The sow and piglets perished in the blaze. A neighboring sow with piglets escaped from her pen and returned by herself sometime after the fire. No other animals or people were harmed.

Holmes said that it would be a while before she could think about re-building. It would probably take a month or so just to clean up. And in the meantime she is very busy milking cows.

Luckily the milking stalls are still operative although the roof of the milking parlor was partially burned.

“We have to carry on,” said Holmes. “We don’t have any choice.” She said the cows only missed one milking as she was able to get to them by Saturday at 6 pm.

On Monday she was busy cleaning and expecting the Insurance adjuster and the state Fire Inspector to show up at any moment.

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