Riga, N.Y. - A fire destroyed a barn in Riga Wednesday morning and claimed the lives of 56 animals inside. Among the dead are 20 lambs.
“It’s something you just don’t expect to have happen,” said Brian McCormick.
It’s lambing season on the McCormick farm, which has been located on O’Brien Road for three generations. Brian McCormick said he was up in the middle of the night feeding the lambs- the fire broke out after he had gone to bed several hours later.
“It was just black smoke. We lost all of our equipment and all of our sheep,” he said.
The Farm borders the Riga landfill. Someone working there saw the smoke and called 911, the called the farmhouse.
McCormick said he ran to the barn to try to save the animals. “I ran around the barn to see if I could open it up and the door was so hot, it was too hot and there was no way I was going to get it open.”
It is suspected the fire was caused by a short in an electrical circuit and fueled by the hay used inside to keep the animals warm. 36 sheep and 20 lambs perished. The barn is destroyed, but is insured.
“I can’t wrap my head around what happened,” says McCormick.