By Connor Lynch
MAXVILLE — A Maxville-area dairy family woke up in the middle of the night to find their barn engulfed in flames. The fire destroyed the barn and milking herd.
The fire broke out at Mylyn Farms in North Stormont at about 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 28. Charlie and Tammy Jack run the operation. Charlie Jack’s father Peter, who lives in another house on the property, woke up and noticed the barn was ablaze. He called Charlie, then the fire department, but the barn was too far gone. All 84 head of cattle were also destroyed.
The Jacks lost the milking cows, the young newborns, and some dry cows getting ready to calve, Jack said. About 130 heifers survived in a nearby tarp barn where the Jacks used to keep dairy goats. The fire also destroyed two sheds full of hay and straw, multiple pieces of farm machinery, and badly damaged the silos on the farm. The silos were taken down on Sept. 25.
An investigation by the Ontario Fire Marshall’s office couldn’t pinpoint a cause, Jack said.
The community turned out in droves to support the family. “That’s what’s kept us going.” Neighbours, family and friends were all dropping by to offer support. Phone calls and online messages poured in.
They plan to rebuild. The barn and herd were both insured. The dry cows and bred heifers were sent to neighbouring farms. “They’re going to calve them out and milk them,” he said, adding they will lease their quota to the neighbours.
“We’re alright,” he added. “Rough, but alright.”