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Afton : Historic Barn @ am Fog Goes Up In Flames Sunday Afternoon : 3.29.09 : Updated

[ 6 ] March 29, 2009 |
©2009 NCL Magazine : Photo By Tommy Stafford : Close friend and co-owner of Blue Mountain Brewery, Mandi Smack, holds Olivia Harris while her parents Ken and Yvonne deal with Sunday's fire.

©2009 NCL Magazine : Photo By Tommy Stafford : Close friend and co-owner of Blue Mountain Brewery, Mandi Smack, holds Olivia Harris while her parents Ken and Yvonne deal with Sunday's fire.

Afton, Virginia
Albemarle/Nelson County Line

It’s been one heck of a month for Ken and Yvonne Harris at amFOG up in Afton. As we first told you earlier today, they lost the huge barn on their orchard and greenhouse property. Just a couple of weeks ago they battled a huge blaze that burned up a lot of acreage but thankfully, spared the buildings. Ken and Yvonne aren’t just clients of ours, they are friends, and this is a huge loss, folks. The barn served as storage for lots of material used on the farm in the orchard and greenhouse operations.

The historic barn on fire as viewed from Route 151 just minutes after fire crews arrived on the scene.

The historic barn on fire as viewed from Route 151 just minutes after fire crews arrived on the scene.

Fire departments from all over the area responded to the blaze that was fanned by gusty southwesterly winds as high as 30 miles per hour at times.

Crews from Crozet and Wintergreen work to dump water into a temporary basin to fight the fire.

Crews from Crozet and Wintergreen work to dump water into a temporary basin to fight the fire.

Ken and Yvonne bought the operation over 5 years ago and have spent the better part of that time renovating the very popular business right on the Nelson-Albemarle County Line. Just a year ago they built a new farm market just off of Route 151. They have raised both son Jay and daughter Olivia since their move here.

The picture says it all. The second floor and loft of the barn collapses as the fire burns.

The picture says it all. The second floor and loft of the barn collapses as the fire burns.

Yvonne tells us she is not sure how the fire in the old barn started, but did say they thankfully have some insurance on the structure. How much it covered remains to be seen.

A nearby greenhouse was damaged but not totally destroyed. People were pitching in to help save what they could.

A nearby greenhouse was damaged but not totally destroyed. People were pitching in to help save what they could.

They also tell us in spite of the fire Sunday they will be open this week. “Maybe not Monday, but certainly in a day or two. The farm market is intact, and most of the spring operations can continue,” Yvonne said.

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Comments (6)

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  1. Katya Spicuzza says:

    Please know that all of us who frequent your terrific farm are so very sad for your loss. I am only thankful that the greenhouse wasn’t completely destroyed and more important that you all and your children are fine….along with your pretty house. We will are rally round and til then just know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. Bobbi Rowley says:

    Yvonne, Ken, Jay & Olivia,

    I am so sorry that you have suffered this loss of property and materials, not to mention the history that went up in flames. However, I am very thankful that no one was injured and that other buildings, and especially your home, were spared. You will be in my thoughts and prayers as you deal with this challenging loss. God bless you all!

  3. Nelson Martin says:

    Yvonne and Ken,

    The Monticello High School Staff, Charlottesville, who visit your great farm, were extremely sadden to hear about the fire, the lost of the old barm.
    However, please know we will continue to stop by and we love the warm, friendly feeling you all express to us.

  4. Nancy Maxson says:

    Such a sad piece of news – you all have been such a fine contribution to our area, with your helpfulness, your great plants and fresh vegetables and dairy, a real inspiration and friend to many of us gardeners. We’ll all do our bit and make this spring as good as it can be for you. So thankful that your family is safe –we’ll miss the barn and all it means but send our love to you all.

  5. Yvonne says:

    We are very humbled by all the well wishes. Thank you all for thinking of us. We love our farm, the store, and our customers; we have every intention of rebuilding and getting back up to speed as quickly as possible.

    We are fortunate no one was severely hurt. Ken got burned on his arm as he RESCUED the tractors from the burning barn. Last night humor, and good friends made the events of the day a little easier, so I said to Ken he can finally call himself a farmer because only a true farmer would be so crazy as to run into a burining barn to save tractors.

  6. Shirley Stintzi says:

    Ken and Yvonne.
    After meeting the two of you, I know you will be up and running before long. Mandi told me of the pictures in the Nelson County Life. My thoughts are with you. You have many friends and customers to help you through this. Kudos to Ken for saving the tractors.

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