The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

June 24, 2013

Calf, other animals killed in barn fire

— RICHFIELD — Fire destroyed a century-old livestock barn and killed several animals, including a beloved calf, Sunday morning.

Nelson Gingerich Sr. and his family were inside their 642 Ridge Road home at about 10 a.m. when a neighbor alerted them to the fire.

He said the family had no idea there was a problem because they had kept the blinds drawn inside the house due to the warm temperatures.

Firefighters from Richfield, Mifflintown, Fremont, Mifflinburg, Middleburg and Port Trevorton battled the blaze for about five hours, but the barn and numerous animals, including a calf, sheep, dog, chickens and rabbits Gingerich’s sons were raising, all perished.

“It’s been hardest on them to lose the pet calf,” Gingerich said.

He and his wife, Melody, have 13 children, including 10 who still live at home. Six years ago, their home burned down and they rebuilt on the same site.

Gingerich said extra care had to be taken Sunday to make sure the new house didn’t go up in flames as well. Hot ashes from the barn fire rained down on the flower beds and had to be doused.

“We had to keep someone there to put it out,” he said.

The cause of Sunday’s fire appears to have been electrical. Gingerich estimated the loss at about $200,000 and said he will rebuild.

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