Fire destroys Mack Brin Farm

Gazette file photoGazette file photo

By Kassie Parisi

Gazette Reporter

BALLSTON SPA — After a fire destroyed the main barn at Mack Brin Farms Friday morning, a social media effort to gather supplies for the farm has blossomed.

The blaze destroyed the barn, but no one was injured, Burnt Hills Fire Chief Steve Peterson said. He said that the Fire Department responded to the fire on Randall Road Friday morning after receiving multiple calls from people who were passing by the scene.

“The fire was fully involved and the barn burned totally to the ground,” Peterson said.

Peterson could not say when exactly the calls about the blaze came in, or how long it took to get it under control. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, he said.

Mack Brin Farms, which sells eggs, poultry, rabbits and hay, is a small farm that practices organic pasture management. It is also among the few farms in the state to be home to endangered San Clemente Island goats.

The farm lost the head of the goat herd, Chile, in the fire, as well as 100 rabbits, said Andrea Smith, a close friend and business partner of Julie Murray, the farm owner. To save her herd, Murray drove a tractor into the burning barn and pushed aside a wall that was on fire so the animals could escape, Smith said.

Smith said all of the barn’s hoses and supplies were melted. She was at the barn all day putting out smaller fires that kept starting because of the hay at the barn.

Despite the destruction, Smith said, it was fortunate that the fire didn’t hit the house on the property.

Around noon, a Facebook post featuring photos of the fire began to circulate. The post also asked that people donate anything they could to help the owners of them farm, who, according to the post, are in need of hay, goat and chicken grain, feed and water bowls, farm tools, and temporary housing for animals, such as trailers. Some neighbors added on Facebook that they had noticed the fire around 9:45 a.m.

Smith said that since the fire, they have received donations of water and hay. On Friday night the animals were kept in a makeshift barn in Charleston.

“We’ve had an outpouring of support from neighbors,” she said.

The recovery process began on Saturday. Those who would like to donate  can visit the Go Fund Me page. As of Monday afternoon, the campaign had raised $2,760 out its goal of $50,000.