Sunday, January 25, 2009

PLEASE DO NOT Use Heat Lamps in Barns

I hear these stories year after year- and it never gets less saddening.

Every year there are tragic endings to what was supposed to be a wonderful yet chilly kidding season for many goat owners. 95% of the time this happens because of heat lamps used to keep newborn baby goats warm. Please do not be tempted to use heat lamps. If it is absolutely the coldest night ever then by all means put your foot down and insist the mom and new babies are going to spend the night in the basement, bathroom, kitchen or where ever you have a place for a mom and kids that can be goat proofed in a hurry and will clean after the night is over- it is far better to have a messy house and live newborns than to wake in the middle of the night to tragedy and hearing your beloved goats screaming and not be able to help.

Please! do not be tempted to use heat lamps. And even if you DO NOT use heat lamps, leave a door open to your barn, do not close goats in stalls or barns where if there WAS a fire they cannot escape. Please. I beg you.

This being said, We are praying for a gal named Cindy, who just lost her new moms and new babies to a barn fire.

Barn Fire

Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:45 pm (PST)
We just lost our barn and a lot of our goats. Fire department thinks
it was the circuit breaker in the power box (they are supposed to trip
and not explode).
We had 28 does, 13 of which had kidded so guessing about 25 kids, and
the buck (this was my myotonic herd). I was only able to get 10 does
5 kids and the buck out.
The goats kept running back into the burning barn after I dragged
them out. Most of them were burned, some pretty bad so I don't know if
they will make it. Luckily I have a friend that was able willing to
take them for me since I don't have space or feed (hay was stored in
the barn)
We wired this barn with the thought of fires, everything was over
specc'ed and had ground faults, never used a heat lamp and had 'pig
pads' for warming.
Just want to warm everyone to watch their barns, and keep the circuit
box enclosed or well away form flammable stuff. Barns go up fast and
you don't have time for much if the fires do start. And it's the worst
thing to hear the screaming and knowing you can't go in and get them
all. I was lucky to get out as many as I did before the hay loft
fell. I inhaled a lot of smoke and went to the hospital for awhile for

Cindy Schindler
Billy Goat Bluff
Lewiston MN
An Update Feb 5 2009: on Cindy and her Barn and Goats:
The insurance company told us yesterday that they would 'honor' what
we had been told by our agent and cover the cost to replace the
building. What a relief and a glimmer of hope. Going to make darn
sure we got the proper insurance from now on.
The fire dept says it was the cold weather (-15f and -30ish with wind
chill that night) and it had been well below zero for almost 2 weeks.
They say that it is a common cause of barn/shed fires when the temps
get that low for that long, the trip breaker malfunctions and
explodes and arcs sparks.
We have found that now there are new trip breakers on the market that
won't do that and new explosive prof breaker boxes. Everyone might
want to look into getting the new trip breakers, they came out about
2 years ago according to our research.
The goats I got out seem to be doing good and healing, time will tell
how much damage was done to the lungs. Goats are pretty tough no
matter what we think, these poor things were smoked, burned, soaked
and froze and suffering from the loss of their kids and still managed
to pull though.

Thank you everyone for your support and words of encouragement, it
meant alot to us.

Cindy Schindler
Billy Goat Bluff
Lewiston MN

17 Goats killed in Barn Fire

Please let me remind ALL goat owners
Do NOT close your goats inside a locked or closed door barn.. KEEP A DOOR OPEN AND DO NOT PLACE THEM IN CLOSED STALLS WITHIN THE BARNS..... you are far better off to have slightly cold goats than burned goats if there is any power source whatsoever going to your barn. This is a horrifying story and I get these time and time again during the kidding season and cold months.. Please folks- leave your barns OPEN..

Sending prayers to the folks who lost their beloved goats.. 17 goats lost in this horrid barn fire..

Original Post follows:

> Denise Van Stone and her daughters suffered a devasting barn fire
> this past weekend. It was due to OLD wiring in her barn, the barn
> itself was approx 90 or so years old. Her daughters lost all of
> their 4-H projects in the fire along with all the equipment we all
> take for granted.

> Animals lost were:
> 8 december boer wethers for market goat projects
> 2 bred percentage boer does
> 3 Alpine/Lamancha cross dairy does-bred
> 2 bred purebred boer does
> 2 very nice Iron Owl does

Barn fire kills animals at Heifer


Sunrays light the rafters and smoke obscures the wreckage as Gary Liimatainen, Overlook's facility coordinator, takes in the damage. Steve King photo Sunrays light the rafters and smoke obscures the wreckage as Gary Liimatainen, Overlook's facility coordinator, takes in the damage. Steve King photo RUTLAND - A heat lamp has been pegged as the cause of a blaze that destroyed three-quarters of the main barn and killing more than 70 animals at Heifer International's Overlook Farm Monday.

No people were harmed, and about 90 animals in the barn, including horses, sheep, goats, chicks, ducks and pigs, were rescued by farm volunteers. According to Wendy B. Peskin, Heifer's northeast regional director, the animals are part of the farm's learning center.

Fifty-nine chicks, one mother goat, nine newborn kids, one duck and one hen perished.

A farm volunteer called 911 at 6:54 a.m. after discovering the fire during a routine check of newborn goat kids. Holden, Hubbardston, Princeton and Rutland crews responded, while Paxton fire personnel covered the Rutland station.

Rutland Fire Chief Thomas Ruchala said flames were traveling up the walls and spreading under the roof. There was heavy smoke, and wind contributed to the fire's spread. Luckily, he said, the wind was blowing away from nearby farm structures.

Farm steward Dale Perkins surveys the damage following Monday's barn fire. Farm steward Dale Perkins surveys the damage following Monday's barn fire. Volunteers were evacuating animals from the blazing barn when fire crews arrived. The animals that died were on the north side of the barn, where most damage was sustained, Ruchala said.

The front south section of the barn survived, possibly because of nearby sky lights, said residential volunteer Berta Wermer. When the plastic on the sky lights melted, heat escaped out the roof. Many chickens and ducks sought refuge in that area of the barn and were later carried out by firefighters, she said.

Behind the barn, a detached greenhouse containing this spring's seeds also was destroyed.

"The guys did one heck of a stop. The fire just kept growing even though they had lines on it. I didn't expect to see this end of the barn still standing," Ruchala said, pointing to the front of the barn, where Opal, a tortoiseshell cat, cautiously sniffed the ground just inside the entrance, and a rooster strutted a few yards from where firefighters sprayed hoses into the rafters.

(Above) Firefighters examine the smoky refuse. (Below) Volunteers tended to one of the three surviving newborn goats, whose ears were blistered. Steve King photos (Above) Firefighters examine the smoky refuse. (Below) Volunteers tended to one of the three surviving newborn goats, whose ears were blistered. Steve King photos Water dripped in heavy rivulets off the corrugated roof and into the pens on the south side of the structure. Two chickadees perched on the barn's still-intact weathervane.

The back of the barn was charred and smoking. A turkey vulture soared over the smoldering wreckage.

Two veterinarians, Susan Mitchell of Holden and volunteer firefighter Jim Harper of Sterling, administered basic first aid and IV fluids to several animals. One goat, recent mother Oreo, severely fractured her front leg and sustained burns on her udders. Other animals suffered minor burns.

Many neighbors offered their barn space and to help with clean-up, Peskin said. Another small barn at Overlook, normally used for hay storage, will provide temporary shelter for some animals until a new barn is built.

The alarms in the main barn had worked properly, Ruchala said. The barn's workshop and its contents were destroyed, as was tack such as harnesses, leads and saddles belonging to farm steward Dale Perkins.

Hay was not stored in the barn, Ruchala said; there was only enough hay inside for the animals to eat.

Built 20 years ago, the 8,000-squarefoot barn was made of wood with a sheet metal roof and a dirt floor and was closed in on three sides. Insurance will cover onethird of the loss at best, Peskin said, and won't cover the cost of rebuilding.

According to Peskin, the heat lamps were warming 12 newborn goats. The lamps were mounted safely on the wall above the babies, less than a week old. An animal might have shaken a lamp loose, causing bedding to ignite, she said. Ruchala reported the lamp as the official cause of the fire.

He told Overlook staff that the fire officially was put out around 10 a.m. By that point an excavator had arrived to remove the rubble.

Farm volunteers carried steel tubs for water and feed to the pastures where horses, sheep and goats were grazing. Peskin said volunteers were shaken and trying to regain their stability.

About 12 volunteers live in quarters just next to the barn. Their morale temporarily lifted Monday afternoon when a goat gave birth in the pasture to two healthy kids.

"My father-in-law used to say, 'Thank God it's only money,' Peskin said, looking on as firefighters prepared to leave, water still dripping from the barn's rafters. "There was little loss of animal life. Ultimately, everything but life can be replaced.

"We're strong people here at Heifer," she said. "We'll carry on. When you think of the adversity that people face in different parts of the world, this pales in comparison. We're among the lucky. It's a tragedy, but it's only a building."

Fire destroys Waynesboro barn

Firefighters from Pennsylvania and Maryland move boxes of bees Tuesday away from a burning barn in Waynesboro, Pa. The fire destroyed the barn of Paul and Mary Hess, owners of Paul's Country Market on Pa. 316.

Firefighters from Pennsylvania and Maryland move boxes of bees Tuesday away from a burning barn in Waynesboro, Pa. The fire destroyed the barn of Paul and Mary Hess, owners of Paul's Country Market on Pa. 316. (Credit: Kate S. Alexander / Staff Writer)

High winds and dry air stoke blaze at Paul’s Market


WAYNESBORO, PA. — High winds stoked a late-morning blaze at Paul’s Market on Pa. 316 north of Waynesboro, burning the adjacent family barn to the ground in less than an hour, firefighters said.

Firefighters from Pennsylvania and Maryland worked to keep the fire, which started at 11:22 a.m., from spreading to the house, business and garage, Waynesboro Fire Department Capt. Bob Blizzard said.

“The high winds and dry air made it burn quickly,” Blizzard said.

Fortunately, the wind was blowing away from the house, homeowner Mary Hess said.

“We are blessed it was burning the barn and could not reach the house,” she said.

Mary and her husband, Paul, own the market, home and barn at 6374 Nunnery Road in Quincy Township, Pa.

The house was not entirely unaffected, Blizzard said.

Heat from the blaze melted siding on the family home and cracked several windows, but Mary Hess said the house was livable.

Flames from the 100-year-old wooden barn reached the family garage, singeing many items in the concrete block structure.

Also affected was a small building filled with beehives, Paul Hess said.

Once firefighters knocked the flames down, they lined up to pass the beehive boxes from the small building.

While the garage, house and bee house remained standing, the barn was a total loss, Blizzard said as the pile of charred wood smoldered in the wind.

Paul Hess said some animals did not make it out of the barn in time, including 50 chickens that supply eggs for the market and a pregnant goat.

The cause of the fire has not be determined, Blizzard said.

However, a heat lamp was on in the barn to keep the pregnant goat warm until she gave birth, Paul Hess said. He said the lamp likely caused the fire.

“We have a lot to be thankful for,” said Mary Hess. “No one was injured, our home is fine and our business is fine.”

The family showed its gratitude to the many firefighters by passing around sandwiches and cookies.

Mary Hess said a neighbor noticed the flames and called 911.