Officials investigate fire’s cause

PERTH – Fire officials are investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed a dairy barn and killed more than two dozen cows.

Perth Volunteer Fire Department Chief Pete Watrobski said fire investigators will meet today to go over the evidence from Friday’s fire at the Korona Dairy Farm.

The fire destroyed the main barn and killed between 25 and 30 of Stanley Korona’s cows.

The fire began Friday around 5 p.m., said the owner’s son, Stanley Korona Jr..

Korona Jr. said Friday emergency responders and others were able to get at least 90 cows out of the barn.

Watrobski said he will meet with investigators to review photos and information from the fire, but because the barn was destroyed, officials will get little additional information from the scene.

“More or less, we are going to be looking at an educated guess,” Watrobski said.

Korona said the fire killed five adult cows and 20 to 25 calves, which were up to a year old.

The future of the barn was unclear today, although Korona said he intends to stay in business.

Korona is working with his insurance agency about coverage, he said.

“Right now, we don’t know where we are going yet,” Korona said.

The cost of the loss has yet to be determined, Korona said. He said he also lost a truck in the fire, and possibly two grain silos.

“They probably got to come down; the steel hoops are burned. Once they burn, they ain’t got the strength,” Korona said.

Previously, Korona said, the family had plans to build a new barn, but were still raising money for it.

“We gotta go ahead with it, we ain’t going to sell the cattle, I know that,” Korona said. “The grandsons want to continue [the business].”

Korona said Town Supervisor Greg Fagan took the surviving cattle to his farm to watch them.

Watrobski said the barn, which burned down in less than a half-hour, was old and had some hay inside.

“It is like an empty box. If you burn an empty box, it goes up quicker [than if it were full],” Watrobski said of the barn.