Health & Medical

Smiths Falls space rallies round hearth victims

A blaze tore by the Northern Lights Equine horse farm simply outdoors of Smiths Falls on Sept. 23, leaving Francis Audet and Debbie Baldwin with nearly nothing.

Author of the article:

Jessica Munro

The Northern Lights Equine horse farm just outside Smiths Falls went up in flames on Sept. 23. The fire destroyed both the barn and an apartment above it.
The Northern Lights Equine horse farm simply outdoors Smiths Falls went up in flames on Sept. 23. The hearth destroyed each the barn and an condo above it. Photo by Handout photograph /Postmedia

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BROCKVILLE — A Smiths Falls household is appreciative of the assist it has acquired from the local people after hearth destroyed their dwelling and barn.

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It has been per week since hearth tore by the Northern Lights Equine horse farm simply outdoors of Smiths Falls, leaving Francis Audet and his accomplice, Debbie Baldwin, with nearly nothing.

The hearth broke out on Sept. 23 and destroyed many of the property, together with the condo they lived in and the barn.

“It’s gone, there’s nothing left. We don’t have any dwelling, no barn, nothing,” Baldwin stated.

“It’s gone to the bottom,” Audet added.

It was round 3 p.m. when Audet first observed the fireplace and tried to extinguish it himself earlier than noticing the ceiling was beginning to come down and getting out of the home with a handful of issues.

Baldwin stated she was out operating errands when the fireplace occurred. By the time she arrived dwelling, the home was already totally engulfed.

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According to a GoFundMe web page began by Marie Baldwin and Natasha Linton, the fireplace began contained in the partitions of the condo above the barn and shortly unfold. Firefighters labored tirelessly all through the day, solely to have the fireplace reignite and unfold additional later within the day, which brought on the fireplace division to drag down the constructing to help in extinguishing the flames.

The Drummond/North Elmsley, Tay Valley Fire Township, and Smiths Falls hearth departments responded to the decision on the nearly 60-year previous horse farm.

Currently Audet and Baldwin are staying of their RV in a neighbours’ entrance yard, however the horses are of their paddocks outdoors on their property. Audet stated they’d carry the horses inside to feed them, so that they’ve arrange small stalls outdoors for the meantime.

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No one was injured by the fireplace. Some of the roughly 18 horses on the property had minor accidents from ash and smoke, however have been in any other case OK. However, their daughter’s beloved pets and a flock of chickens couldn’t be saved.

“We had two blind (horses) behind the barn that we look after; he needed to go get them as a result of they have been within the line of smoke,” Baldwin stated.

The couple hope to make use of the funds from the GoFundMe web page created by Baldwin’s oldest daughter and daughter’s finest pal to get a trailer that may face up to the winter and winter blankets and different objects that burned — like brushes — for the horses.

In its first three days, the fundraiser raised $9,310 of their $100,000 purpose.

“It’s fairly unimaginable as a result of we’re used to giving loads. We assist folks, we assist horses, so to have the reverse occur to us is kind of overwhelming,” Audet stated.

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Baldwin agreed. She stated it was great to see neighbours and neighborhood members assist out. Many folks introduced horse feed, buckets and fences to create particular person locations for the horses to eat individually.

The fundraising purpose was up to date because the household has acquired a quote for short-term housing on the property all through the winter months. Baldwin stated the ground plans for his or her new home had already been finished, and constructing would begin as quickly as doable, however they’d nonetheless depend on the short-term winter lodging.

“It’s one of many main reliefs, that we’ll have the ability to have a home as quickly as doable,” Audet stated.

The GoFundMe for the Northern Lights Equine horse farm and household may be discovered at; Fundraiser by Natasha Linton: Family loses all the things after hearth (

(Jessica Munro is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Brockville Recorder and Times. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.)

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