DAMASCUS TOWNSHIP — Firefighters said a dozen animals were killed and a barn was leveled by fire on Calkins Road near Damascus on Sunday morning.
The barn is owned by Wayne County Commissioner Brian Smith, who shares the family business with his wife, daughter and son-in-law.
“I’m happy nobody got hurt. We lost only young stock, only 11 young stock and a dog. Thank you to everyone here helping,” said Smith. “I’ve got fantastic neighbors. This whole county is just full of great people.”
As firefighters doused hotspots and moved rubble, dozens of neighbors and fellow farmers helped move the surviving cows.
“All the years of hard work that we’re put into this, just gone in a matter of minutes,” said Bonnie Latourette.
Smith said the barn is insured, but he’s not sure what will happen with the family farming business.
Beach Lake Fire Company Chief Tony Franklin told Newswatch 16 that around 100 volunteer firefighters from Wayne County and Upstate New York dropped their Memorial Day Weekend plans to help fight the two-alarm barn fire.
“We had all the equipment and manpower we needed for this. The fortunate part is, there was no hay so it went quick,” said Franklin. “If it was hay, we’d be here for 10, 12 hours.”
A state police fire mashal is looking for the cause of the barn fire in Wayne County.