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Barn, animals saved in Cape Vincent fire

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CAPE VINCENT — A town of Cape Vincent farmer still has his cattle barn and 190 cows, including many young stock, thanks to the timely discovery of open flames Sunday night and the effective response by volunteer firefighters.

“This is a good example of how early detection can result in a good save,” said Fred D. Lampman, deputy director of Jefferson County Fire and Emergency Management.

The fire broke out shortly after 9 p.m. in a structure attached to the barn on the J. Michael Reff farm, 31334 Burnt Rock Road. Mr. Lampman said flames originated where a tractor with power running to its block heater was situated, so an electrical cause is suspected.

Mr. Reff said his brother, John, who lives next door, saw flames and made the call that prompted the 9:26 p.m. dispatch of Cape Vincent, Chaumont, Clayton and Three Mile Bay fire companies.

“They did a heck of a job,” Mr. Reff said. Damage was minimal, Mr. Lampman added, and nobody was injured.

The Reff family was able to evacuate all the cattle, losing none. “It was more difficult getting them back in the barn than it was getting them out,” Mr. Reff said.

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