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Kelly Nankervis - Midland Daily News - Michigan
July 17, 2006

Lee, Midland and Homer township firefighters joined forces Sunday night to keep flames from a burning barn from reaching a nearby home on South Meridian Road.

The 8:20 p.m. call brought the three departments to the home, between West Pine River Road and East Dopp Road. Midland Township firefighters were dispatched first and arrived to find the fire was on the Lee side of the township line, so they asked that the fire command be handed over to Lee firefighters.

By 9 p.m., owner Ray Poirier knew he'd lost three horses, a goat, four motorcycles and other items in the blaze, but his home was saved. He estimated the loss at about $100,000 but not as bad as a fire that leveled a barn of his 11 years ago.

"Right now I'm having a cup of coffee," he said this morning from the Gordonville Café, not much looking forward to cleaning up what was left of the barn, including the hay that still was smoking. At the top of his list was burying the animals that perished, then getting to work on the rest.

He said he plans to build a garage where the barn stood.

One of the horses was a racer, and Poirier took her to a track in Mount Pleasant often.

"It's what I do, go up to Mount Pleasant every weekend," he said, adding he won't replace the horses because he's getting older and other friends have many of the animals.

The Daily News could not reach officials to find out the cause of the fire, but Poirier said he had set up a fan in the barn for the horses -- which don't like the heat -- the day before.

"It's the only thing was running," he said.

Also lost in the fire was a pickup truck parked in front of the barn.

Because of the hay that was stored inside, the barn could not be insured, Poirier said.

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