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Fire Damages Shed at Bread & Butter Farm

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Bread & Butter Farm pigs on Monday in front of the damaged animal shed - MELISSA PASANEN ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Melissa Pasanen ©️ Seven Days
  • Bread & Butter Farm pigs on Monday in front of the damaged animal shed
Five area fire departments responded to a structure fire alarm at Bread & Butter Farm around 8:45 p.m. Sunday night. The farm's animal shed sustained serious damage, but the herd of about 80 beef cows and four pigs were moved to safety.

The diversified livestock and vegetable farm is located at 200 Leduc Road in Shelburne just off of Cheese Factory Road. The farm also includes acreage in South Burlington.

The fire was in a freestanding structure and will not impact the operation of the onsite farm store or Blank Page Café, both located in the main farm building, said farmer/owner, Corie Pierce on Monday morning.



Pierce expressed deep appreciation for the firefighters and said she and her team are especially grateful that no animals were hurt. "For a bad situation, it's about as good a situation as it could be," she said.

Pierce is not yet sure of the extent of the damage, or what insurance will cover.
Fire damage to the animal shed at Bread & Butter Farm - MELISSA PASANEN ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Melissa Pasanen ©️ Seven Days
  • Fire damage to the animal shed at Bread & Butter Farm

A team of several dozen firefighters from Shelburne, South Burlington, Hinesburg, Charlotte and Ferrisburgh fought the fire over the course of a few hours, said Lee Krohn, Shelburne town manager and a member of the Shelburne Volunteer Fire Department, which led the response. "It was a great and rapid response," he said. "It was a good save."

Once the flames were out, firefighters worked to make sure the abundant hay in the fenced enclosure around the shed was thoroughly soaked to eliminate the chance of a spark reigniting the fire, Krohn said.

"There were several large pigs quite nearby," Krohn added. "They didn't seem bothered in the least."

Pierce said that Brandon Bless, the farm's land and animal manager, first saw the fire out of the window of his family's home, which is located about 150 feet from the shed. "The whole thing was full on fire," she said.

Krohn confirmed that there is no known cause of the blaze. Pierce said the only electricity close to the structure is an electric fence, which generally don't spark fires. Hay is very combustible but, she said, "Neither of those feel likely."

About 12 hours after the alarm, the farm's cows were grazing peacefully in a nearby pasture and the pigs were chomping on hay within view of the charred western end of the animal shed.