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Remer family loses a piece of their passion to fire

A barn at Serendipity Farm, located about 10 miles north of Remer on County Road

Seven baby goats and a “pregnant mama goat that was due any day” were lost in a barn fire early Wednesday morning at Serendipity Farm, located about 10 miles north of Remer on County Road 4.

“It’s been a rough day,” said owner Christine Desmond in a telephone interview. “Each of the seven kids were like puppies to us and they each had a name and now they’re gone. The kids from the pregnant mama goat were going to be my kids’ 4-H goats and now that won’t happen.

“We lost everything in the barn, all of our gardening and work tools and all the storage items we had in there. We had saddles and saddle racks in there and all our tack.”

Desmond said the barn contained two horse stables, a tack room, storage room that was also used as a milking parlor and an attached two-vehicle stall garage.

Desmond said she and her husband, Leo, were sleeping when they woke up to their dogs barking. Desmond said she looked outside, but didn’t see anything. Desmond said she went back to bed and looked outside again and then she saw an orange glow and screamed.

Desmond said she called her parents, David and Sally Lindman, who live near her farm, and told them to call 911.

The fire was reported around 3:45 a.m. While waiting for the firefighters, the Desmonds used their own hoses and watered down the area from the burning barn to a second barn they own, which is located about 40 feet away.

“The fire was within inches of the second barn,” said Desmond.

“When we arrived to the scene, it was fully engulfed,” said Remer Fire Chief Paul Swentkofske. “The fire started in the area where the garage and barn meet. We’re not sure what started the fire.”

Swentkofske said about a dozen firefighters responded to the fire and cleared about 8 a.m. Longville Fire responded for mutual aid for a tanker and Remer Ambulance was on scene. There were no injuries.

Swentkofske said estimated value of loss is about $40,000.

“I am so grateful to the firefighters,” said Desmond. “We are really rural and they did a good job at saving the second barn.”

Desmond said both her husband and herself were checked out for smoke inhalation by the paramedics, but they were OK.

Desmond said she is disheartened about the loss of her goats. She said the goats normally would have not been in that barn overnight.

“They were predicting rain and thunderstorms so we put them in the barn so they would be safe and dry,” said Desmond. “They would have been fine if we didn’t move them.”

When asked if the Desmonds would rebuild their barn, she said, “I don’t know. I don’t know how we can’t. This is what we are passionate about. This is our family business and we want to move forward with sustainable farming.”

The Desmonds and their five children ages 4-17 moved to their 111-acre farm in January of 2011. The Desmonds farm includes horses, pigs, sheep, a cow and steer, chickens and Great Pyrenees. Christine Desmond also makes her own natural handmade soap and said many of the tools used for the soap were lost in the fire.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at or 855-5851.