July 30th, 2006

I never thought I’d be writing a post like this today.

As Terah mentioned already, there was a fire out at our farm today. We lost both barns and the chicken house. Several acres of mostly grass burned in all.

It’s hard to see those buildings gone. There was so much history and so many memories in them. And that loss isn’t just ours; so many people have fond memories from out there.

Before I go on, I’ve posted a few very preliminary photos. I haven’t even downloaded all of them from the camera yet. Here’s how our yard looks:

We’re sad about this, but there’s a lot to be thankful for. There are so many ways that this could have been worse. If the firefighters had been a few minutes later to the scene, we probably would have lost the only remaining buildings — house, wash house, and elevator — as well. The fire was starting to burn a hedge row from two sides. It got within a few feet of the house.

Somebody driving through the country noticed the fire and called it in. That in itself is fortunate, because people don’t just drive through this part of the country all that often.

We’re very fortunate to have such a wonderful and loving family. The people from the Goessel Volunteer Fire Department spent 7 hours of their evening out there, part of it in 100-degree heat. (The Walton Fire Dept. also responded — I don’t know how long they were there). Even our insurance agent (one of the barns was insured) came out — and he didn’t have to.

We hope that we’ll get enough insurance money to let us rebuild something in the same style as the original barn.

And, most importantly, nobody got hurt.

But somehow, despite all these things, it still feels like we lost a little bit of Grandpa today.

Categories: General, House Renovation

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  1. cliff

    Oh my. I’m so sorry for your loss John and Terah. That must have heart wrenching. I hope you can recover and heal some of the emotions that are part of this. Small communities are great aren’t they.


    John Goerzen Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Cliff. Yes, small communities are great — and I’ve also received some very nice emails from people that read this blog. Thanks to all — we appreciate it.


  2. Jim

    And I too am terribly sorry about your loss of those buildings.
    A small consolation, but you have recent pictures to bolster your memory of the way things were.
    Isn’t it wonderful to have such nice, thoughtful and helpful neighbors! A comfort indeed.


  3. John Goerzen

    Update: there are new photos online [url=]here[/url].


  4. Willis Goerzen – a good reason to live in Kansas | The Changelog

    […] expected it. Back in 2006, before I had moved into the house that had been grandpa’s, there was a fire there. I lost two barns (one was the big old red one with lots of character) and a chicken house. […]

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