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UPDATE: Barn destroyed in fire; 50-70 cows dead

BUCHANAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. - More than 60 cows are dead after an early morning fire destroyed multiple barns at a dairy farm off Wells Road just west of the Buchanan.

Nine fire departments were called to Powers Farm LLC just after 10:30 a.m. Fire fighters are calling several structures at the farm a total loss.
With a tear in his eye, 80-year-old Nick Powers said he lost about everything on his property Wednesday morning. “Terrible, terrible,” he said. “You just can’t believe it you know?”

Flames ripped through two barns, a milking facility and part of the farm’s silo.

The dairy farm is the only source of income Powers has had since he was in 7th grade. “This is our livelihood,” he said. “(Our family has) been here since 1942.”

Around 9:30 Wednesday morning, Powers recalled, he heard a snapping noise from the farm house. Powers thought the noise was coming from the drier until he looked out the window.

“All in the back of (the barns were) fire and that’s where the cows all stay. You see, they’re locked in there,” said Powers. “They can’t get out.” Powers said between 60 and 70 milk cows perished in the flames.

Powers said the farm has insurance but replacing the memories won’t be easy. “They’re dead,” he said. “We tried to get in there to let them out but we couldn’t.”

Tankers hauled in water from the City of Buchanan’s water system. According to J.T. Adkerson with the Buchanan Public Works Department, firefighters hauled off 800 gallons of water per minute for most of the morning.

A Galien Township firefighter was treated for exhaustion on the scene.

According to the Buchanan Township Fire Department a Michigan State Fire Marshall was on scene Wednesday. He decided a cause cannot be determined. He did say the fire looked accidental.

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