Farm trying to rebuild following New Year’s Eve barn fire

(Photo Courtesy of Pam Hopkins)

FOSTER, R.I. (WPRI) — The owner of Cornerstone Farm is asking for donations after a fire tore through one of the farm’s barn, destroying saddles, bridles and other items.

Owner Beth Stone said the fire was an unwelcome way to see 2017 come to a close.

“We came up to feed the horses and saw smoke coming out of the windows,” Stone said. “You only think the worst and sure enough, we got to the front of the barn and we could see the flames and we knew that it was bad.”

Stone said the fire broke out around 10:30 p.m. with two horses inside the barn. Thankfully, Stone said they were able to rescue the two horses from the building.

“We just happened to be at the right place at the right time,” Stone said. “I think another few minutes and things, we would have had a really different outcome.”

According to Stone, the barn that caught fire held six stalls which housed horses for the New Horizons Center for Equine Assisted Therapy program. She said she is requesting donations on behalf of that program to replace the barn and items lost in the fire.

Foster’s Volunteer Fire Department is located across the road from the barn and they were first on the scene when the fire broke out.

“Happened to look across the street and saw a fully engulfed barn fire,” volunteer firefighter Mark O’Toole said. “A guy yells across the road, ‘We got a fire!'”

O’Toole said more than 30 volunteers rushed to the scene. O’Toole said the fire took hours to extinguish and left the barn with extensive damage.

“A lot of the equipment was lost, a lot of our memorabilia and ribbons and awards those are lost but we’ve still got the memories and we’re going to rebuild from here,” Stone said.