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Peter dairy farm loses barn, cows to fire
For nearly one hundred years, the Peter family in Castleton has run a dairy farm, making improvements along the way. Friday afternoon, farm owner and Schodack Town Judge Paul Peter watched a barn that contained cows and a lifetime of memories burn to the ground.
"The barn, the milking equipment's gone, the milk tank and all that kind of stuff," was lost, Peter told CBS6 News. "A lifetime's worth of small, miscellaneous tools that were in diferent places in the barn."
The fire began around one p.m. Peter said he was working near the barn and noticed it, grabbed an extinguisher and tried to save 28 young cows inside but the fire forced him back. His wife Jan says she had just come home from her job and was alerted by her son, then called 911.
"My son yelled, 'There's an awful lot of smoke, Ma! Something's on fire!"
About fifty milking cows were outside the barn and not injured. A neighboring farmer, Scott Swartz, is taking care of them at his farm a few miles away and was planning to begin milking them Saturday morning. He said cows are creatures of habit and would be difficult to milk in a new environment.
"It was pretty difficult getting them loaded up," says Swartz. "They wanted to go back to their barn. It'll take a good week to get them used to this new milking operation. They won't give a lot of milk for two or three days."
Castleton Fire Chief Matt Carner said the cause of the fire was under investigation and, as of 6 p.m. Friday, there was nothing to suggest it was set.