Neighbors pitch in after major fire

You are currently viewing Neighbors pitch in after major fire
What remains of the barn that caught fire in Pocopson Township Sunday. Two horses were killed.

Investigators are still looking into the cause of a late Sunday morning fire that killed two horses and destroyed a 150-year-old barn in Pocopson Township. Seven other horses were saved from the fire at Deneno Farm on Wawaset Farm Road. The horses were retired racehorses owned by Don Deneno, a retired horse trainer.

More than two dozen fire companies responded to the blaze that broke out about 11:30 a.m. Sunday. Longwood Fire Co. Chief A.J. McCarthy said the state police from the Embreeville barracks are handling the investigation, and that he would be checking with them later this week.

Neighbors and members of the Longwood Fire Co. start setting up temporary shelters for the surviving horses.

McCarthy said two firefighters and two civilians received injuries. He estimated six to eight acres of brushland were burned due to dry conditions and heavy winds Sunday. There were brush fires reported throughout the area.

"Chunks of hay and burning wood were flying all over," McCarthy said.

Deneno, who received some burns while trying to rescue his horses, was unavailable for comment Tuesday, but several neighbors did talk with reporters.

"I went out for a run and, halfway down the hill, I heard a deafening explosion," said Karen Myers. "Turning up the hill, I saw flames shooting up to the sky. I called 911 as I ran towards Don's barn and had a protracted discussion on what road the emergency vehicles should take."

She added that things then went surreal. "There was then a bizarre shift in reality where time stopped having meaning, and fire extinguishers were grabbed, hoses attached, buckets filled from my hot tub, shovels used to pound out flames....I am so lucky our house didn't go up and so heartbroken for the two stallions lost and the historic barn."

(Full disclosure, Myers is a contributor for Chadds Ford Live.)

John Lavin, who lives on the property, said the fire was under control by about 3 p.m. He said the barn had two apartments where four people lived, but none of the tenants were injured.

There's not yet any official estimate on the financial loss, but Lavin said he would not be surprised if it topped $500,000.

Neighbors are donating horse feed and helping to rebuild fences and shelters for the remaining horses. and Lavin said a gofundme page had been set up.

"The neighbors have been great," Myers said.

On Tuesday, many of the neighbors, and firefighters from Longwood, were erecting temporary shelters for the horses, with posts and rails donated by local businesses Fence Works and Fence Authority. Ace Hardware Store in Pocopson is also accepting donations for the Deneno Farm.

About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 4.14 out of 5)



Leave a Reply