DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The family that runs Richlands Dairy Farm is devastated after a fire killed nine of their calves and destroyed a barn.
The blaze erupted around 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 14, according to Brittany Jones, who helps operate the farm.
“Just shock. Immense sadness,” Jones said. “There [are] absolutely no words to describe that particular feeling.”
All nine of the cows killed were reportedly two weeks old or younger. Jones says she took care of them every single day.
“I haven’t processed yet. I’m pretty sure I’m still in shock,” she said.
According to Jones, it feels like her family can’t catch a break throughout the last few years. A barn collapsed onto more than 100 cows in 2018. Thankfully, none of the cows died, but it was a costly situation. The pandemic has also brought new challenges.
There’s no word yet on what caused Tuesday’s tragedy.
“Whatever happened, it went really fast,” Jones said.
Meanwhile, her family isn’t wasting any time. Several people were at the site cleaning up on Wednesday, Dec. 15. Jones said her husband was out getting lumber and supplies throughout the day.
“This barn needs to be rebuilt. It was one of the nicest, best barns on the farm,” she said. “They’re clearing out the drains, washing everything, digging the posts out and trying to rebuild.”
According to the family, the barn was built just a few years ago and carried a price tag of about $30,000. Because of supply chain issues and lumber price increases, the family expects it to cost more this time around.
In spite of all the hardships, Jones has a message to those who’ve expressed condolences on social media or stopped by to check in on them since the fire.
“Thank you to the community, for continuing to show us all the love and support and stand behind us as it seems we are continually taking hit after hit, “Jones said. “Keep us in your prayers.”
She also thanked the several fire departments who showed up to help contain the fire so it didn’t spread further. If you want to help the business, you can donate on their website.