Homes and horse saved during barn fire

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JACKSONVILLE — A second alarm fire destroyed a barn early Sunday morning, but firefighters were able to keep two nearby homes from suffering a similar fate.

"Look," said Rosemary Tefft, owner of the barn and accompanying home, "The flag still stands."

The call came in at about 3 a.m. on Sunday. The three-story barn at 3187 Route 100 in Jacksonville was approximately 30 feet by 60 feet, and the house on the same property caught fire as did a Ford Focus. Firefighters were able to prevent the home from being destroyed.

Whitingham Fire Chief Stan Janovsky showed the Reformer the scene.

A horse was saved but 10 chickens died and one cat was missing as of 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Two sheds also burned in the fire.

With no electricity to the barn and no hay stored inside, homeowner Lyman Tefft said he didn't know how the fire could have started.

"It could have been a lot worse," said Rosemary.

Rosemary said a family member was creating a GoFundMe page online to help with recovering after the fire. The crowdfunding website is used to raise money for various purposes.

One of two apartments in a residence on the other side of the barn was damaged. The lower floor of the unit had mostly water damage but things upstairs were burnt. That building is owned by another resident.

"It's pretty close quarters here," said Janovsky, who made saving the homes his first priority and sent crews into the affected houses to work simultaneously.

Some of the siding on a home across the street also was damaged.

Departments from Whitingham, Readsboro, Halifax and Wilmington responded. The West Dover Fire Department covered Whitingham's station. Corse Excavating moved pieces of the barn into piles.

"We laid a 4-inch line from the center of Jacksonville to Jacksonville Pond," Janovsky said. "We had quite a bit of water on wheels, so we did not run out of water but we were close."

A temporary shelter has been made for the horse.

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or @CMaysBR.

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