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Dear colleagues and friends,
At approximately 2 o’clock this morning, a fire broke out in the Animal Barn at Bellwether Farm. In spite of the Wakeman Fire Department’s immediate response, given the windy night, it burned to the ground very quickly. Fortunately, no staff, guests, or firefighters were injured. The majority of livestock survived; sadly, ten sheep and the two cows perished. Four neighboring fire departments joined Wakeman in responding and kept all the other structures in the barnyard safe.
I am profoundly grateful to the staff for their alertness and quick action, and to the extraordinary work of the first responders led by Chief David Wilson, Assistant Chief Sean Eschen, and Mayor Chris Hipp. By the time I arrived at 3:30, the last few standing vertical timbers were being pushed down to extinguish any remaining embers.
The loss of livestock is always heartbreaking, but we can be thankful that all else can and will be replaced.
With every blessing,
The Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, Jr.
Bishop of Ohio
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