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Southwick Farmer Talks about Losing 2 Barns in Suspicious Fire

(Photos Courtesy Cindy Hersey and Taylor Anderson)

(Photo Courtesy Cindy Hersey and Taylor Anderson)

SOUTHWICK, Mass. (WGGB) —  Dwight Arnold’s Southwick farm dates back to the 1800s. It’s rich in history, but Monday’s fire destroyed two important barns.

“We looked out the window and saw a huge red, the sky was all lit up bright orange,” Dwight Arnold said. “We went running out there.” 

The barns were so far off the road firefighters had to bring in an outside water supply to knock down the flames.

“The second barn is the one that had the propane right next to the edge of it so that was really of great concern to us,” Chief Richard Anderson said.

Crews stopped the flames before they sparked the gas. Now detectives are looking for who started it and why.

“There was no power to the building, no gas to the building so right away that’s why I termed it suspicious,” Anderson said. “We just follow leads until we find out.”

Arnold says not having two big barns could impact his harvest this summer and how many staffers he can hire.  It’s the sentimental loss that hurts him most.

“My father and his brothers built that barn working with my grandfather. Must have been right after the war,” Arnold said. “It was a boom time for cigar industry.”

He adds that farming equipment being stored in the barn was also destroyed. The State Fire Marshall’s Office was called in to help investigate.

If you have any information, contact the Southwick Police or Fire Departments.

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