Barn Fire Causes Major Damage, Displaces 1,600 Cows
March 2, 2023
The fire that ripped through Pleasant View Farms in Martinsburg on Thursday, Feb. 23, was ruled accidental, according to a Pennsylvania State Police public information release statement.
According to Martinsburg Volunteer Fire Company Chief Randy Acker, crews were called out at around 4 a.m. and arrived to find the farm's offices and part of its milking barn fully involved.
"When we pulled in, the front of the barn was totally engulfed in fire," Acker said. Acker said the area on fire contained offices, a laundry room, a kitchen, the compressor room, and a tanker room.
Acker said the farm has about 1,600 dairy cows that were being held in the back part of the barn and were not in any danger.
"The cows really weren't an issue other than keeping them back," Acker said. "They were actually pretty calm."
Acker said with the cows safe, the first goal was to knock down the flames so they could get close to the barn and get in to save the milking parlor.
"We did save most of it but not all of it. It did burn the end of the milking parlor," he said.
Acker said local dairy farmers began arriving to remove the cows and take them to various farms throughout the Cove so their milking schedule could continue.
"The farmers really stepped up to help," Acker said. "Even as we were fighting the fire, cows were being loaded in trucks and driven to safety. Other farmers are pitching in and taking the cows to get them milked."
Crews from East Freedom, Roaring Spring, Southern Cove, Williamsburg, Geeseytown, Saxton, and Six Mile Run joined Martinsburg in battling the blaze, with approximately 10 tanker trucks shuttling water from Henry's Pond to the fire.
Acker said there is a dry hydrant at Henry's Pond that they hook into to get water from the pond. He said firefighters from Williamsburg manned the hydrant and kept the convoy of tanker trucks filled.
Acker said the fire was out by around 7 a.m. and the fire company left the scene by 11 a.m. No injuries were reported.