Irasburg fire leaves six without a home

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copyright the Chronicle December 7, 2016

by Paul Lefebvre and Tena Starr

IRASBURG — A fire late Sunday afternoon destroyed a camp off the Gage Road here and left two adults and four children homeless.

“They lost everything,” said Robin Beaton, chief of the Irasburg Volunteer Fire Department, speaking Tuesday in an interview.

The two adults, Michael Josey and Kate Shatney, and the children are presently living with James Bromley of Irasburg. The children range in age from seven to 14.

Ms. Shatney said Tuesday that the family lost pretty much everything, but she put a positive spin on the situation. “We didn’t lose anyone.”

The children took it hard to begin with, but the six of them are staying with family, which the kids are enjoying, she said.

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Spark from torch started round barn fire

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copyright the Chronicle August 31, 2016

by Tena Starr

IRASBURG — A spark started the fire that destroyed the Robillard family’s historic round barn here, Denise Robillard said this week.

“They were fixing stalls that morning in the barn that was hooked to the round barn,” she said. “They used a torch to cut one bolt, and I guess there must have been a spark they didn’t see.”

What with the wind, and people having lunch, the fire quickly took hold in the very old lumber of the round barn. It was unsalvageable in no time, Ms. Robillard said.

“Within 20 minutes from the start, it was gone,” she said.

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Fire destroys historic round barn in Irasburg

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copyright the Chronicle August 24, 2016

by Paul Lefebvre

IRASBURG — A fire Tuesday destroyed the round barn here on Robillard Flats that had become a cultural landmark for those who live or travel through Orleans County.

Originally built in 1908, the barn had been in the Robillard family since 1960. Two generations of dairy farmers had turned the land, as well as the barn, into a showpiece that attracted natives and tourists alike.

A fast burning fire that started early in the afternoon completely destroyed the wooden round barn and left the remaining metal barns, where the livestock were kept, scorched and crumpled.

It’s a disaster,” said Bernard Robillard, who bought the farm from his father, Guy.

It’s still uncertain what caused the fire.

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Firefighters save Barton home

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copyright the Chronicle April 6, 2016

Barton, Orleans, and Glover firefighters work to keep Mark LaCoss’ home from destruction Tuesday.  Barton Ambulance was also on the scene.  Barton Fire Chief Kevin Tartaglio said his department was toned out at 2:30 p.m. for a garage fire on New Dublin Lane.  Because of the small number of firefighters in the Barton department, Chief Tartaglio immediately sought assistance from Orleans through Mutual Aid.  When…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Ruminations: On the historic rise of the birthday cake

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Photo by Lara Starr

Photo by Lara Starr

copyright the Chronicle March 4, 2015

by Tena Starr

My family isn’t overly fond of cake, which got me to wondering about the history of the ritual. How is it that cake and candles are such an entrenched tradition that people who don’t even really like cake still have it at a birthday celebration?

(To be honest here, Chris at Parker Pie made this year’s birthday cake, and most of us confessed that we did, indeed, like it. So maybe it’s just the cakes we make ourselves that we’re not so fond of.)

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At Bread and Puppet: Fire revival for Gaza draws reflection, silence

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Bread and Puppet Theater performers practice for a revival of Fire.  Photos by David Dudley

Bread and Puppet Theater performers practice for a revival of Fire. Photos by David Dudley

copyright the Chronicle August 13, 2014

by David Dudley

GLOVER — Before the Bread and Puppet Theater’s Friday night performance of Fire, Genevieve Yeuillaz rakes the dirt floor theater. Though the audience rarely acknowledges her effort, she carefully makes lines in the dirt before each performance. It’s a way of making the space feel fresh. The raking is, perhaps for Ms. Yeuillaz, a meditation, a kind of prayer. She focuses her attentions on a seemingly small, repetitive task to rest her mind before the intense performance.

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