The largest round barn left in Vermont is now a pile of rubble in Irasburg. Owners Denise and Bernard Robillard say it was one of only 12 round barns left in the state.
“We just put a brand new roof on it this spring,” says Denise. “We’re going to miss not seeing it out our window anymore.”
The barn was built in 1908. Bernard’s parents bought the farm in 1960 and it has stayed in the family. Their round barn is a community landmark and tourist spot on Route 58.
“You’ll see people stopped on the side of the road taking pictures of it,” says neighbor Dustin Sanville, who lives on his family named road, Sanville Drive.
Sanville has lived across the street from the Robillard’s for 52 years.
“I’ve been in the barn, I’ve bailed hay in the barn, I’ve picked up milk in the barn,” says Danville. “You drive by it now and you’ll say ‘that’s where the round barn used to be.'”
Irasburg Fire Chief Robin Beaton had dozens of volunteers helping his crew Tuesday. He says the call came in around 1:30 and he nearly tapped out nearby fire resources.
“It’s real tough right now because everyone is so short on help,” says Beaton. “When I first arrived on scene, it was going through the roof already, so it had already gone through the three stories of the barn.”
The Robillard’s were already back to work, milking their cows just hours after the fire. They sell their organic milk to Upstate Niagara and say moving forward is all they can do. Though it may not be another round barn, they say they will rebuild.
“We want to thank everyone in the community who has come without questions asked, arms open, willing to help, and we thank them very much,” said both Bernard and Denise.
Beaton says a fire investigator will be on scene Wednesday. There were no injuries, though three to four calves did die in the flames.