Century-old barn destroyed

Darrell Cole
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Fire believed to be electrical in nature; building wasnt insured

AMHERST - Ashes are all that remain of a century-old barn in Amherst Head destroyed by fire late Thursday.

"It's really painful to think about what we lost," said Duncan Carter, who was plowing a neighbour's field when he learned of the fire. "Donnie (Boudreau) came running through the field telling me my barn was on fire. By the time I got there, it was pretty much gone."
Dry weather and high winds fanned the flames, with the heat from the fire making it impossible for Carter and others to remove equipment stored inside.
"We lost our four-wheelers, my canoes, a new wood splitter, some equipment and a number of antiques that belonged to my dad," said Carter, adding he managed to save a tractor located next to the barn.
The barn was more than a century old, with hand-hewn beams. It's believed the fire was electrical in nature and started in wiring associated with a battery pack.
Firefighters from Shinimicas and Truemanville battled the blaze for a couple of hours, preventing its spread to a nearby garage and home. Firefighters were also kept busy spraying piles of hay near the fire and Carter said drifting embers set smaller grassfires up to a kilometre away.
Carter said he was fortunate in that he had recently moved his chickens to another barn, adding it would have been worse later in the summer since it would have been full of chickens and turkeys.
As it stands, two barn cats were the only probable fatalities.
"There were two cats that lived in the barn, I used to see them around all the time, but I haven't seen them yet today. I'm afraid that they probably died in the fire," he said.
He's not sure what his rebuilding plans will be. There was no insurance on the barn.
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Recent comments

  • Emily
    January 18, 2010 - 11:22

    Duncan- I'm so sorry to hear about this fire! I am very glad to hear that no one was hurt but I'm sure it's still a devistating loss.

  • no insurance?
    January 18, 2010 - 11:09

    four wheelers , canoes , new wood splitter and many many antiques and no insurance ? sounds very strange , probably no house insurance either - is that legal?

  • nadine
    January 18, 2010 - 11:04

    So sad to drive by and not see that huge beautiful barn. it is hard to belive all the years that barn had kept your familie things, animals and many hard working hours on your land. and gone so fast in a matter of minutes.. it will be hard to wake up every day and not see it there.. also sorry for your loss of your memories and pets. hope that in time things get better for you and your family.

  • Bob
    January 18, 2010 - 10:44

    Why would it be illegal to have no insurance on your home? The bank is the one who requires insurance on your home to cover the cost of a mortgage as part of the contract to get the mortgage. If no mortgage or other loans requiring insurance then its your own choice. No insurance? Doesn't sound strange to me, some people just don't want to pay the cost. Cause remember insurance is all about IN CASE S**T happens.