Heavy smoke was visible in clear skies throughout the Ithaca area as several fire departments worked to bring a barn fire under control in the Varna area of Dryden, on Mount Pleasant, early Wednesday evening.
Property owner Jim Reed believes all of the animals in the barn were able to escape as the fire started. Reed says firefighters from Etna Fire Department arrived quickly enough that a house near the barn didn’t appear to have sustained serious damage. Speedsville and Brooktondale departments were close behind them.
Departments on the scene included Varna, Slaterville Springs, Dryden Neptune Hose Company, McLean, and Cayuga Heights. Firefighters deployed a portable water container, essentially a movable pond, and filled it with water to provide a water supply for hoses.
A damaged power transformer near the barn meant electric power was out on both sides of the road.
Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control in about an hour, and worked into the evening to extinguish hot spots and make sure the scene was safe.
Update: A family member has launched a GoFundMe page to help with immediate expenses to care for the animals and begin cleanup and rebuilding.