2 horses killed in East Montpelier barn fire

Published: May. 2, 2022 at 11:10 PM EDT|Updated: May. 3, 2022 at 12:35 PM EDT
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EAST MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - An East Montpelier barn was destroyed by fire Monday night and two horses were lost to the flames.

Fairmont Farm is a huge part of the central Vermont community, even winning the Farm of the Year award in 2017. But the dairy farm’s commodity building caught fire and collapsed Monday, according to fire officials, and the building is a total loss.

“There were three horses in the barn. It was our understanding that one of them did get out and that there were two fatal horses in the fire. The barn was occupied with equipment, storage. It was seed, fertilizers, sawdust, things like that,” said East Montpelier Fire Chief Ty Rolland. He says other crucial equipment lost in the flames included a feeding truck and a loader.

Roland says the official cause of the blaze has not been determined but it appears to be linked to equipment being used. “It was possibly related to the equipment that they’d used about 6:15, 6:30 or so. Preparing for feeding the next day that may have had a malfunction in that cluster. We can tell based on where they told us the fire proximity was the hottest when they first saw.”

The barn was only one part of the large farm and it didn’t spread to any other buildings or livestock. Roland says they responded to a fire in the same building a few years ago.

“They’re dealing with the cleanup, dealing with the insurance, all those things of course. It comes at a very difficult time because it’s springtime, a lot of work is being focused outdoors,” said Vt. Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts, who was asked to speak on behalf of the owners. He says they’re very thankful for the six agencies and upwards of 40 firefighters from nearby towns who helped contain the fire.

Tebbetts says it’s been a rough year when it comes to barn fires. “I’m always amazed at the resiliency of farmers. They’re out there today doing the chores, picking up the pieces, thinking about the future, what’s next. So, this farm family will be doing that as well,” he said.

scenes from the barn fire at Fairmont Farm.. Our thanks to our mutual aid partners: Woodbury, Plainfield, Worcester, Montpelier, Plainfield, Barre Town, Middlesex and Berlin.

Posted by East Montpelier Fire Department on Monday, May 2, 2022

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