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Newburgh, Ont., farm back in business one year after devastating fire

Click to play video: 'Newburgh, Ont., farm back in business one year after devastating fire'
Newburgh, Ont., farm back in business one year after devastating fire
One year after a devastating fire that claimed most of their livestock and their barn, the family at J&J Farms are looking forward to the future – Mar 25, 2023

For the Leadbeater family, a place that once marked a tragedy, is now a symbol of hope.

Charred heaps of metal and wood were all that remained of the barn at J&J Farms last year after an electrical fire claimed the barn, two cows, a number of pigs, chicken and ducks, and a piece of the Leadbeater family’s heart.

“Within minutes, our life was gone,” said J&J Farms owner Jennifer Leadbeater, reminiscing about that day in mid-March of 2022.

The farm, which primarily boards horses, was devastated by the fire.

Leadbeater says the total damage estimate for the barn alone was over one million dollars, not counting the animals, the horseback riding equipment, the feed and the rest of the supplies.

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The family was devastated, but they never lost hope and began picking up the pieces immediately.

“I think it brought us closer as a family, we all worked together, we suffered a lot of losses and we had a lot of hard times,” she said.

However, after working all through the fall and the beginning of winter, a barn stands once again at J&J Farms.

Leadbeater says it couldn’t have been done without the tireless efforts of her family, but also the help of the community to keep their business running, even when they had nowhere to store the horses.

“I don’t think we realized the support that people give you when something like this happens. To be honest, if it wasn’t for the community, I don’t know how we would’ve gotten through it,” she added.

Now, after having spent the past year dealing with the grief of losing their animals and their barn, she says that they have a new lease on life.

“Life’s short. Don’t take things for granted, and our community is actually just amazing.”

 

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