Amherst farm owners receiving community support after devastating fire
AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- An Amherst family has been left to assess the damage and pick up the pieces after a fire Friday destroyed their dairy barn.
Friday was another typical day for Michael at J and J Farms in Amherst when the weather took a drastic turn.
“We were in the barn, in the milking facility, just finishing up milking our cows when this big, huge black cloud and bolts of lightning began,” Waskiewicz said.
Lightning hit the over 100-year-old farm and destroyed barns and damaged a house on the property. Amherst fire officials said it took hours to battle the flames. Thankfully, there were no injuries and the animals are safe.
“Not in my wildest dreams that this would happen. Hundreds of acres surrounding me and lightning had to hit our barn...As you can see, it takes everything,” Waskiewicz explained.
Waskiewicz told Western Mass News that while his family is in shock, they’re ready to get back to work and gear up for the next harvest.
“As soon as we get this debris cleaned up and removed from the site, we’re gonna try to put a structure up, maybe of some sort, maybe a butler building because...we have all these crops in the field out here. Come September time, we need a facility by then. We need to harvest,” Waskiewicz noted.
They’re grateful for the community’s support as a GoFundMe has been set up to help pay for the damages caused. Farms have have also helped by taking in their cows.
“Lts of thanks to all the people who have shown so much concern for the dairy farm, for us as individuals, thank you very much. It’s just overwhelming the support we had,” Waskiewicz added.
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