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Popular Barn Destroyed By Fire in Bradford County

SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP — A spotted piglet dashed across a field. It was the sole survivor of a barn fire that killed around 100 animals including dozens of o...

SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP -- A spotted piglet dashed across a field. It was the sole survivor of a barn fire that killed around 100 animals including dozens of other pigs, cows, rabbits, a goat and a dog.

The fire broke out on Ballantine Road around 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

Scott Walrath and his wife were sleeping when they were woken by their 2-month-old daughter. They looked out the window and saw the barn in flames.

The farmer raced to save what he could, but after moving vehicles, he realized that the fire was too intense.

Walrath said, "It was me or the cattle, and I am more valuable than the cattle, so there is no sense of risking my life at that point."

At one point, the wind started carrying burning hay onto the roof of his home.

"We thought we were going to lose the house," he added. "It was pretty scary stuff."

When firefighters arrived at the scene, the first truck started pouring water on the house because the barn could not be salvaged.

Walrath's family owns several other farms nearby, but he says the barn that burned was special.

It hosted 4-H meetings and was popular with children who liked to visit the animals. Some of the piglets that were lost would have been sold to 4-H members who would raise them and show them at the Troy Fair.

Despite the loss, Walrath remains upbeat. "We're going to build this barn back and we will be bigger and better than ever."

Officials continue to investigate the cause of the fire.

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