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Farmer loses 100 dairy cows in overnight fire

By JOLEEN FERRIS

BROOKFIELD, N.Y. (WKTV) - Rod Jennison lost his livelihood overnight.

"It's terrible. I don't have an income now. And I'm not a young person, and we didn't have any insurance," Jennison said.

Fire tore through Jennison's Beaver Creek Road dairy farm in Brookfield overnight, destroying his barn, milking parlor and 100 head of cattle.

For Jennison, his daughter and grandson, it's like losing 100 family pets.

"I love my animals. It's what I get up every morning for.....sometimes I can't remember what I did 10 minutes ago but I remember the cows, when they were born, when they're due to calf," said Jennison, while smoke rose from the smoldering remains of his barn behind him on Friday afternoon. Jennison says he and his family named all 100 cows.

He can't remember what woke him at 1:50 a.m. Friday, but he'll never forget what he saw when he came outside.

"When I come out, she was on fire, right the top of it was, from one end to the other....I come out and I flipped the door up and the cows were already gone from the smoke," said Jennison.

The farmer estimates it would cost $450,000-$600,000 to replace the structures, equipment and 100 head of cattle. He says he had no insurance, but is going to try and build back, on a smaller scale.

"Somehow, someway, if it's possible, we're going to put it back. Not as big as it was. But we're going to put it back," Jennison said.

It took six fire departments to put out the fire. They were on the scene from around 2:00 p.m. until 9:30 a.m. Fire officials told Jennison that, because of the level of devastation, they might never be able to tell him what caused the fire.

It's still under investigation.

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