Family Mourns Loss Of Memories Following Barn Fire
A town of Watertown family is picking up the pieces after losing more than 100 years of family heirlooms in a barn fire Thursday.
"We just lost so much," Jeffrey Cowles said.
"My great-great grandparents' stuff. All of our things. It was a huge loss."
Firefighters battled the wind-whipped fire that consumed Eleanor Barker's family barn on Route 11 in the town of Watertown in a matter of minutes.
Cowles is Barker's grandson. He saw the fire start and tried to put it out with buckets of water.
"I threw a bucket of water on it, went back inside and got one of the guys who lives here and tried to put it out some more," Cowles said.
"Came out with another bucket of water and by the time I got out there it moved off the ground, onto the trailer, and then once it hit the trailer, it was onto the barn."
The barn was built in 1910 and everything the family collected over the years -- from books to fine china and even wedding pictures -- were kept here.
All things that are now gone.
"It's quite a heartache for them," family friend Cindy Pernice said. "It's quite a loss. A lot of memories went up over there today."
This fire hits close to home for the town of Watertown Fire Department. Barker's late husband Robert was a fire chief and member of the department for over 30 years.
"He was one of those people that you always looked to for answers," current Fire Chief Charles Dillon said, "and his wife, Ellie, is still a member of the Ladies Auxiliary, so it's one of our own and we do the best we can for them."
Family members say they're grateful no one was hurt and while it'll take time to heal, they will be able to -- together.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014, Watertown, NY
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