MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO-TV) — A Minnesota family is reeling after a holiday fire at their farm destroyed much of their livestock.
At about 3 a.m. on Christmas Eve, the Springer family woke up to see flames and smoke coming from a barn that housed about 1,000 goats. None of the animals survived.
Brittany and Stephen Springer and their five children built Cornerstone Farm in Ottertail County, Minnesota into what it is today. “It was our way of life. We always just did stuff in the barn as a family,” Brittany said.
The family sells grass-fed beef and pork, and vegetables near the town of Henning. But it was their dairy operation, made possible by goats, that put their farm on the map.
“I woke up Stephen and said, ‘The barn’s on fire!’ And he [said], ‘What? Call 911!’” Brittany said.
The Springers watched all their hard work come crashing down, in a matter of minutes. “I felt pretty helpless,” Stephen said. “The flames were bellowing out the two front windows on the south side of the milk house. The milk house door had just fallen in. There was no way I could do anything.”
Their entire dairy operation, which included their goats, was lost in the fire, along with a family dog who was protecting the herd. “That’s really the hardest part for me, just losing the animals that were in there,” Stephen said.
Tragedy during the holidays made it even more difficult. The Springers say milk production was their main source of income. They hope to rebuild this summer. In the meantime, they’re relying on friends, family and faith to get them through.
“It’s easy to lose hope in a situation like this, but when you see so many people that are rooting for you, and all the nice comments and cards and everything that we’ve gotten, it’s been really humbling,” Brittany said. “And we’ve been blessed to know that so many people are behind us.”
The Springers believe a faulty heat lamp may be to blame for starting the fire.