Fire destroys landmark barn in Barton

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copyright the Chronicle October 11, 2017

 

by Tena Starr

 

BARTON — State Police are looking for information about the Monday afternoon fire that burned the landmark barn known as The Pines to the ground. Firefighters poured a steady stream of water on the farmhouse, which suffered only minor damage, but the barn burned in a hurry.

In a press release issued shortly before midnight on Monday, Detective Sergeant Michael LaCourse said the cause of the fire is undetermined, but remains under investigation.

“Investigators are aware that numerous people took photographs of the fire in its incipient stage and would like to speak with anyone that may have witnessed the fire,” the release says.

A young woman at the neighbor’s house called in the fire after noticing flames shooting out the upper story where hay was stored.

Michael and Kim Riendeau of Brownington own the Kinsey Road property. They said there were no animals in the barn at the time; they were still out to pasture because of the good weather.

The Riendeaus have owned the place for about a year and a half. Before that, Jim Young and Raymond Leblanc owned it, and it was frequently used for livestock and equipment auctions under the name of Northeast Kingdom Sales.

Mr. Riendeau said on Tuesday that he was on his way home from Poulin Grain in Newport Monday afternoon when he ran into his son John in Orleans, who stopped him and told him the barn was on fire.

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Easter fire ruins Brighton home

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copyright the Chronicle April 19, 2017

 

by Sharon (Campbell) Biron

 

Editor’s note: the following is Ms. Biron’s account of the fire that ruined their Island Pond home Sunday night. She and her husband, Mark Biron, lost everything in the fire.

Mark and I had just returned on Easter Sunday from a three-day research trip to French Azilum in Pennsylvania. We got back to the house at East Brighton Road in Island Pond at 6 p.m. on Sunday. We started a log fire in the furnace to warm the house up. An hour or so later we noticed from the garden that the chimney was alight, with sparks and fire coming out of it. We ran down to the basement to put out our furnace/log fire and used a garden hose to put out the fire on the chimney and roof. The fire was completely out, or so we thought.

At 9.30 p.m. we were in bed. I heard strange sounds on my bedroom ceiling of what sounded like the pit pat of raindrops. I walked out into the living room and looked up at the ceiling. I couldn’t see anything, but something made me reach out and open the furnace pipe closet door. When I opened it I looked up it and was shocked to see flames up in the attic. I ran in and woke Mark up, and he raced out. We used three fire extinguishers, to no avail.

We ran out and dragged garden hose into the house and sprayed it up the furnace pipe through the closet. I ran outside into the garden to see the green metal roof was on fire — eight-foot-long fire with two-foot high flames. Smoke was billowing out from under the rafters. I ran back in and told Mark to call the fire service. I told him it was no good trying to fight the blaze anymore; the whole roof was ablaze. I dragged the dogs out of the house and locked them in the car and reversed up to the sand dunes in my garden so the petrol tank would not explode in the massive heat. I ran back in to try and get Mark out; he was still trying to fight the fire. I grabbed my phone and handbag plus the urn containing my brother Paul’s ashes and ran back to the car. Within minutes fire crews arrived, and took control of situation.

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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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