Fire engulfs Cornwall barn, but no animals injured

CORNWALL — A barn off West Street in Cornwall that was used to house heifers and to store hay was destroyed by a fire during the evening of Thursday, Jan. 29.
Cornwall Fire Chief Dennis Rheaume suspects sparks from a torch used to thaw out some frozen water pipes triggered the fire at the barn, owned by Randy Quesnel. The barn was empty of animals at the time but contained approximately 100 round bales of dry, good-quality hay, according to Rheaume.
Firefighters were toned to the scene at around 6:30 p.m. on Thursday evening. The barn was fully involved when firefighters arrived, according to Rheaume. Cornwall’s firefighters received assistance from the New Haven, Bridport, Shoreham and Whiting fire departments, Rheaume said. More than 50 firefighters battled the blaze into the early hours of Friday morning.
A persistent wind fanned the flames dangerously close to a neighboring property. But the firefighters’ efforts along with a nice snow cover helped extinguish the embers before they could damage other structures, Rheaume said. Unfortunately, a neighbor trying to assist firefighters experienced a health episode and had to be taken to Porter Hospital by Middlebury Regional EMS. Otherwise, no people or animals were hurt during the incident, according to Rheaume.
The barn is a total loss, as was the hay inside it, officials said.

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