Meadowbrook Road Barn & Stable Destroyed By Early Morning Fire
All five of Newtown’s fire companies and at least two from Monroe responded early Thursday morning, July 11, to a barn fire in Botsford.
The residents of 34 Meadowbrook Road were reportedly safe, according to Botsford Fire Rescue Chief Andrew White, who had command of the scene for the first two hours firefighters were there.
“The fire was through the roof when we got here,” Chief White told The Newtown Bee. “The horses are out, and everybody’s good, but the barn is gone,” he added.
Firefighters from Botsford, Dodgingtown, Hawleyville, Hook & Ladder, and Sandy Hook were all dispatched to Long Meadow Horse Farm shortly after 5 am for the reported fire. Horses were still in the barn at that time, but were being removed by the time first responders began arriving minutes later.
Stepney and Stevenson firefighters were also added to the incident following Chief White’s arrival and initial assessment.
Town of Newtown Deputy Fire Marshal Steve Murphy was also on the scene, and confirmed what Chief White said, calling the barn a total loss.
“It took approximately 30 minutes to knock down the fire,” he said. “They got all the horses out, though, and firefighters helped get some of the other animals out, including some chickens.”
Mr Murphy estimated approximately 50 firefighters were at the scene. It was not immediately apparent what had caused the fire, he said.
Patti and Kurt Goldbach live across the street from the farm. She was stunned, she said, when she looked out from one of her windows.
“I heard trucks, and I thought someone was in our yard,” Mrs Goldbach said. “Then looked out the window, and I seen flames like I’ve never seen before. The whole barn was on fire. I felt sick.”
It helped to quickly learn, she said, that the residents of the barn were safely out.
The fire, her husband said, burned quickly.
“The barn was gone before they could get water on it,” Mr Goldbach said.
According to assessor database records, the barn at 34 Meadowbrook was built in 1965. The barn-stable had an apartment with 927 square feet of living area, and an open porch.
A main house on the 20-acre property located approximately 50 yards from the barn was untouched by the fire, the deputy fire marshal said.
The property is on the northwestern corner of Meadowbrook’s intersection with Washbrook Road.
Water was shuttled to the scene on tankers that were filling from the hydrant in front of Botsford’s firehouse on South Main Street. A steady stream of trucks rolled across Meadowbrook, pouring loads of water into a portable pond that had been set up in the westbound lane of the road, before continuing to Hattertown Road, Cold Spring Road, and then back to Botsford’s firehouse for more water and another run. Botsford Fire had an engine in the farm’s driveway, which pumped water to the hoses being used by firefighters working around the barn. Newtown Hook & Ladder also had its ladder truck in the driveway. With a pair of firefighters at the top of the extended ladder, the truck’s nozzle was aimed into the interior of the barn.
Meadowbrook Road was closed to through-traffic while the fire scene was active. Approximately a dozen horses were seen in the field to the west of the barn while firefighters were working on the fire. They calmly grazed while nearby activity continued.
As is protocol, a Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps crew was also dispatched to the scene. Stony Hill firefighters provided a standby crew for at least one of Newtown’s firehouses, and Southbury sent a crew to Sandy Hook’s main station.
Firefighters began clearing from the scene around 8 am. No injuries were reported.
Botsford firefighters were the last to clear, leaving Meadowbrook Road around 9:30 Thursday morning.
Within hours of the barn fire, a gofundme campaign had been launched by Newtown resident Deana Rohan.
Ms Rohan set a $2,000 goal for the online fundraiser, which she said would “help our neighbors with anything they need.”
The fundraiser can be found by searching for “Our neighbors at Long Meadow Farms need help!” at gofundme.com.