A beloved Ladysmith landmark, built in 1920, was reduced to ashes on Monday night.
The barn at Yellow Point Farms, popular among locals and visitors, was engulfed in flames at around 10:30 p.m. Monday night, resulting in its destruction.
“We looked out the living room window and saw an orange sky and thought, what’s that? It was the barn, with flames everywhere. The sky was orange. It was terrifying,” said Rebecca Dault, who purchased the farm with her husband five years ago.
Animals were housed in the barn, but all of them were rescued safely.
“Just got them out,” added Dault. “The sheep were in there, the pigs usually have their piglets in there, there were a bunch of birds like peacocks, guineas, and chickens. Everything burned, but they’re all safe. Every human and animal life was saved.”
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The second floor had been used for yoga classes, weddings, and school trips, but all those activities will now have to be cancelled.
There were also essential and expensive supplies for their blueberry farm and feed for the animals.
“Yeah, it was the hub of the farm. We pretty much purchased the farm because of the barn,” said Dault. “We’re a blueberry farm, but we do a lot of livestock, so everything to do with farming was in there, such as all the feed for the animals, the hay, the bedding, all the stuff for blueberry farming, fertilizers, irrigation, fencing, everything.”
Dault says they have insurance, but it doesn’t cover some essentials like animal feed.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family, hoping to help them stay afloat until other insurance money kicks in.
“Or you can call or go to the Nanaimo Buckerfields or the Trading Post in Cassidy and put something towards our list. Thank you so, so much; our hearts are full with the love and support we feel,” reads a post on the Yellow Point Farms Facebook page.
“It was very sentimental to everyone in the community and to us as well. The historical value and the way it was built are probably irreplaceable.”