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Massive barn fire kills numerous animals - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Massive barn fire kills numerous animals

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Vt. -

The fire broke out around 3:30 a.m. on Gilbert Road in Williamstown.  Jasmin Couillard got a phone call and rushed to the scene, devastated by what was left of her parents farm. "It's rough, my dad's been farming for almost 50 years, since he was 11 years old," she said.

"We believe it started on the end closest to the house. When we first got here we were able to save the house from burning as well, so we did a good job at protecting the house from burning as well," said Williamstown Fire Chief William Graham.

Investigators say the fire was likely caused by a problem with a heating unit. No one was injured but fire officials say 40 cows/heffers were killed in the barn fire and family members say they lost another 60 animals including rabbits, hens, ducks, goats, sheep and a horse. 

"We just barely got done pulling them out at like -- what it's 7 o'clock now -- it's been burning since 3:30, so its a miracle that they made it out alive," Chief Graham said.

Surrounding fire departments responded and battled the blaze in freezing temperatures. "We haven't really had a whole lot of freezing water pipes yet but we gotta keep the water flowing. Other than being cold the weather hasn't really had an affect," Chief Graham said.

As the family copes with the loss of their dairy farm, they're trying to figure out their next steps. "My husband has a farm, so the cows are going there until we figure out what to do with them," Couillard said.

"The homeowners are pretty devastated about what they lost in the fire but I think they're happy to know that their animals made it out ok," Chief Graham said.

The barn is considered a total loss but the family hopes to continue their work in the community.

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