Horse farm getting help from community

By Maggie Hockenberry

Published 07/21 2014 05:49PM

Updated 08/14 2014 10:48AM

Update: 6:07 pm, 8/12/14, Tuesday
SIDELL -- Some helping hands have come to the aid of an equine rescue. Fire destroyed a hay barn at the Crosswinds facility last month. Since then, the owners have gotten a lot of donations from the community.

They were concerned about having food for the horses this winter. A barn won't be built before then but they have farmers storing hay for them. Volunteers also helped remove debris from the fire.
Original: 5:49 pm, 7/21/14, Monday
SIDELL -- Fire destroyed a hay barn at Crosswinds Equine Rescue. It started Saturday afternoon and quickly engulfed the barn. The flames may be out, but now the owners need the community's help. WCIA-3's Maggie Hockenberry spoke with the owners.

"My husband and 21-year old and I were all up there and less than 15-feet away from where the fire started. Had it started at the other end, I'm not certain we would've been able to get out."

"Two minutes after the fire started, there's nothing anyone could have done. The hay was engulfed and the building was going to go."

In just minutes, the Crosswinds Equine Rescue hay barn went up in flames with the owners inside. The Cross' say they were stacking bails when their daughter noticed the fire. It took four departments four hours to put out.

"The firetrucks got here and did everything they could to put things out from the beginning. The biggest thing we were concerned about was the rest of the farm."

The Cross' say the blaze started near the ceiling. They got out, but the barn is a total loss. Mike Cross had the closest encounter.

"The fire started fifteen feet away from me. My daughter saw it behind me."

The fire cost the Cross' 37 tons of hay and more than $20,000 worth of equipment damage. Now, they need the community's help to rebuild.

Volunteers will help with the clean-up. Getting more hay won't be the issue, but where to store it will.

"Our priority is going to be to get a building up that we can store hay in."

The Cross' say, because of the fire, they will not take in as many animals as usual this year.

"We don't want to take something in we aren't absolutely certain we can provide full support for all winter."

A volunteer night at Crosswinds will take place Monday. The Cross' hope to have a new barn up before winter.

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