Nineteen Cows Lost In Dairy Barn Fire Here

February 2, 1950

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph F. Hardy Sustain Heavy Loss

Heavy loss was sustained by Joseph  F. Hardy, near Sykesville, last Sunday night when fire of undetermined origin destroyed a dairy barn, together with a herd of cows and a large amount of feed and equipment. Seventeen cows perished in the flames and two more were so badly burned that they had to be destroyed. A race horse, “Smart Bet” was among the animals burned to death.

Also destroyed in the blaze were some 55 tons of hay, 800 bales of straw, 1/2 ton of lime and a new potato planter. A new tractor, previously housed in the barn, had been removed to another building only a few days before.

Twice during the barn fire sparks ignited the nearby dwelling, but firemen quickly extinguished these and confined the loss to the barn and contents. Recently purchased and improved by Mr. and Mrs. Hardy, the farm was formerly owned by the Maggie Thomas estate. The barn had been wired for electricity and passed inspection in November.

The barn was in flames when attention of the family was attracted by the glare a few minutes before 10 P.M. A short time before, the Hardys had been out on the porch, bidding goodbye to some company, and there was no indication of the fire then. So far as known, no one had been in the barn since milking time at 6 P. M.

Glare of the flames, on a wet, foggy night, could be seen for miles and attracted many spectators. Mr. and Mrs. Hardy were enthusiastic in their praise of Sykesville firemen for their prompt and efficient work at the blaze.


(Mr. and Mrs. Hardy)
We will try in our humble way to say thanks to the members of the Sykesville Fire Department, for their prompt attention to our barn fire. It was a terrible tragedy but could have been so much worse. Years of hard work went up in smoke, wiped out in a matter of minutes. But God in his great mercy, was good to us.

The Fire Dept. arrived in less than five minutes after we called them, and if they had delayed for even a few minutes, the entire farm buildings and dwelling would have been destroyed.

The wind was quite strong and carried huge balls of  burning hay and straw through the air toward the home. The house roof started to burn twice but a man was stationed on the roof and the house was saved.

Had Chief Chrobot not been on his toes, and if he had not perfect team work from all his men, we would have lost everything.

We have been told that the Fire Dept. is starting a drive to impress on the folks in our community the need for fire extinguishers in every home and barn. This is so important.

If you have ever experienced what we just did, you know the need of preventing fires, from stopping them before they get started. Perhaps you think it can not happen to you, but believe us, is surely can happen to even you.

We lost 19 cows, 9 of which were born on our farm, raised by us. They knew their names and came when called by name. They would eat out of our hands, and we could never tell you the anguish of having them burn to death. It was horrible.

Please folks, give Chief Chrobot and his very capable men all the support possible, in his present and all future campaigns. Get these fire extinguishers, for your barns and homes. Save yourselves the heartache we now are experiencing. Give them your financial support in all their efforts. They are a grand group. God bless you all, boys, and our heart-felt thanks.

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