Video Source: WSBT
GOSHEN — A massive fire at a Goshen farm killed at least 10 calves and destroyed two barns.
The farmer woke up to the sound of sirens and his milking barn engulfed in flames. Someone driving by called 911 and helped rescue two calves trapped in the barn.
Support began pouring in the minute the tragedy hit. Before daylight, friends, neighbors and strangers were hard at work.
“For this community, it’s normal in a way. If something bad happens we’re going to turn out we’re going to help and we’re going to support them as much as we can,” said Stanton Ramer, who helped clean-up the debris.
The farm looked more like a construction zone, instead of a fire scene.
Farmers from across Elkhart County brought their own equipment to help with the clean-up.
“I just wanted to crawl back in bed,” said Jonathan Zimmerman, the farmer they were rallying around.
“They’re willing to sacrifice some of the things they ought to be doing on their operation day to day, to help somebody in need,” said Zimmerman.
He says a lot of the support came from fellow farmers and church members.
“I think it’s that faith brings a community together, that you don’t see other places,” said Zimmerman.
There were 250 cows on the farm, 10 calves died in the fire. The owner says it could’ve been a lot worse though, if the wind hadn’t been blowing in the right direction.
The Harrison Township Fire Department says they are still investigating, but believe the fire started in a utility room.
“Within two hours of time, 100 cows were moved to a new facility,” said Zimmerman. “We’re getting ready to start the next milking, which we milk every eight hours.”
Zimmerman says people have already offered to replace expensive equipment, provide animal feed, and one neighbor even offered to house the cows.
“Everybody will turn out and help them, people just fill-in where it needs to be,” said Ramer.
Zimmerman says he will rebuild, but he knows he won’t have to do it alone.
“It’s unbelievable, what a community,” said Zimmerman.