‘We’re still in shock’: 9 calves killed in Richlands Dairy Farm barn fire

A barn fire in Dinwiddie County killed nine baby cows on Tuesday night.
A barn fire in Dinwiddie County killed nine baby cows on Tuesday night.(Source; Richlands Dairy Farm | Richlands Dairy Farm)
Published: Dec. 15, 2021 at 3:15 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 15, 2021 at 6:57 PM EST
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DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - A Dinwiddie farm is working to clean up what’s left after a fire tore through one of the barns Tuesday night.

A 20-stall calf barn went up in flames at Richlands Dairy Farm, killing nine baby cows inside.

The Blackstone Volunteer Fire Department said firefighters from Dinwiddie, Blackstone, Fort Pickett and Crewe responded to the scene to put out the blaze.

Crews used thousands of gallons of water to put out the blaze, but everything was lost.

On Wednesday morning, Brittany Jones, one of the operators of Richlands Dairy Farm, was one of several people cleaning up the space where the barn once stood.

“It is just horrendous,” she said. “An unimaginable thing to think about.”

Jones found out about the blaze on Tuesday night from one of the farm employees leaving a Christmas party at the creamery.

“One of the farm’s employees, who was leaving the Christmas party, walked to their car and could see a glow,” Jones said.

Jones said the calf barn was built three years ago to house their calves.

“They typically only stay in this barn for about two weeks to develop their immune system, and then they go into group housing with other calf buddies,” Jones said.

Now, Jones said their focus is to clean up the space and build another barn.

“The posts that are charred will need to be dug out of the concrete, and of course, everything will need to be clean,” she said.

As Jones and her family pick up the pieces from their loss, she said the support they’re receiving from the community is helping them through this devastating situation.

“There’s been lots of people who have been interested if they can donate or they can donate their time, help us clean up, help us rebuild,” she said. “Their uplifting of prayer for us is just very humbling.”

The fire did not spread. At this time, the cause is still unknown.

Aside from the barn, Jones said they regularly donate milk to the food banks. On Richlands Dairy Farm’s website, Jones said there’s a tab where people can donate milk, which she said helps the creamery, farm and community.

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