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Beloved Vermont Farm Burns, Leaving Every Animal Dead

The 19th century dairy farm in Waterbury was beloved by generations of area families
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2018 4:30 PM CDT
Updated Apr 2, 2018 4:56 PM CDT
Beloved Vermont Farm Burns, Leaving Every Animal Dead
Dairy farmers Rosina Wallace, center, and her brother K. Alan Wallace on their historic family dairy farm   (AP Photo/Lisa Rathke)

A beloved Vermont dairy farm burned to the ground Sunday night, killing nearly two dozen cows and their calves. The Wallace farm in Waterbury was run by 71-year-old Rosina Wallace. Per USA Today, Wallace was a fourth generation dairy farmer at the property, which was purchased by her great-grandparents in 1866. Wallace hosted numerous school groups over the years at the farm, which was a staple attraction in the community. Per the AP, Rosina Wallace's home on the property also was destroyed along with another home and a cow barn. While all 23 animals perished, no human fatalities were reported. The barn and farmhouse were 152 years old, so the wood was extremely dry, said Fire Chief Gary Dillon. Investigators were not certain of its exact source on Monday but said the fire has been ruled an accident.

For Rosina Wallace and her brother, K. Alan Wallace, who helped her run the farm, this is a tragedy only lessened by the outpouring of community support. Family and friends stopped by with food and to offer condolences and help throughout the morning Monday. Meanwhile, the Wallaces stood by Monday as an excavator tore down the farmhouse where they both grew up and where he currently lived. "It's holding me up," Rosina Wallace said of the support. Perhaps more tragic is the effect on the community. "This is just a different world," she once said in a profile on the Cabot Creamery website. "Even for kids who grow up right next door, if they don't come visit the farm, they don't make the connections." Wallace worked hard and long to keep the farm going after her father died, said former neighbor Bob Severidt. "The cows were her kids," he said. "And so she lost them and it's going to be a real heartbreaker."
(More fire stories.)

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