Well today has officially sucked. I wake up this morning to a phone call at 5:30 from my Step-mom saying ďThe barnís on fire, we need your help with the horses!Ē So I jumped out of bed and threw on clothes to get up there. By the time I got there, the barn was almost completely engulfed. The firemen were doing their best to just keep it under control because it was beyond trying to put it out. My customer horses on the south side of the barn were getting just enough heat and smoke to be scared out of their wits and uncatchable. So for lack of better options, I dropped the fencing in their pens and turned them out into the pasture. Fortunately, there were no animals inside the barn so there was no loss of life and no injury (to people or animals). However, the barn is a total loss. In a way I am glad that it happened last night instead of tonight because we just got a load of hay today and there would have been about $1000 worth of hay stacked in the barn. Instead, we only lost half a bale. The firefighters were able to keep control of the blaze enough to protect the tack room, for the most part. The ceiling did get burned through a bit and as a result, all our saddles and tack ended up with some smoke damage and a bit of water damage from the hoses but they show no ill effects from the heat. A bit of cleaning and airing out and they should be fine. The harness room was not so lucky though, every bit of harness that we had, including that for the horses, was completely destroyed. It looks like John and Bess are going to get to enjoy an extended vacation until we can get them some new harness, but frankly, that isnít at the top of our priority list at this particular moment.
While I didnít fully understand how a loss like this can be so depressing, it really makes me appreciate the community that I live in. Within minutes of the fire dept being paged, every firefighter within 20 miles (whether working our town or not) was on their way to lend a hand however they could. A dear friend from Oklahoma came over in his pickup and brought his big stock trailer just in case we needed it. After all was said and done, one of the firemen had his wife bring us all something to eat and bottles of water. Everyone that drove past, including strangers, would stop to see if they could lend a hand. All day, tons of people from town (even people that donít like my family) were dropping by to see if everyone was okay and if there was anything they could do to help. The outpouring of love and support is a bit overwhelming and Iím still kinda in shock. Every moment since I got the call, I thank heaven that all the animals were outside because if they had been in the barn, there would have been no chance for them to survive.
This is the ceiling above the tack room (you can see the bars on the door at the bottom).
Please, I wonít ask for your prayers because we are going to be okay, I simply ask that you give a hug and a kiss to your family and beloved animal friends. It only takes one moment for an unfortunate accident to turn into a horrific tragedy. We were lucky, not everybody is. Be thankful for everything that you have and donít take anything for granted.