Those who visit our historic farm often have questions about the fire that scorched the interior of our barns. Most are surprised that the buildings survived and we find ourselves counting our blessings in that fact.
Back in the winter of '71 more than 100 men answered a call to save this key historic structure from an awful fate. They worked through the night fighting that blaze in a truly amazing show of solidarity which you can read about below:
January 16, 1971
WARRENS CORNERS- An early morning blaze today destroyed a barn, termed a "priceless, historical landmark" by owner Floyd Yousey, 5182 Ridge Rd.
Nearly 100 firemen from Cambria, South Wilson and Pekin fire departments answered the 2:30 a.m. two-alarm call.
Eight pieces of fire equipment, including the Pekin snorkel, were used to douse the fire which was still smoldering at 9 a.m. today.
Mr. Yousey told Niagara County Sheriff's deputies that his daughter, Virginia, first noticed the fire.
Mr. and Mrs. Y0usey, their two daughters and a neighbor, James Reed, managed to save five heifers and some equipment from the barn.
Mr. Yousey listed the loss of contents in the barn at $5000 but said the structure itself was "priceless."
The south side section was built in 1808, he explained, and the north side was built in 1896.
He told Deputy Wayne M. Powless that the fire appeared to have started near a meter box on the north side of the barn.
Deputies were investigating this morning to determine the cause of the blaze.
"We were lucky the wind was in the right direction," commented Mrs. Yousey who said the house was never in real danger.
David Davis, Pekin fire chief, said credit for saving the exterior and part of the roof of the structure should go to the Cambria Fire Dept., first at the scene.
"They (Cambria firemen) did a real good job," he said, noting that a barn seldom remains standing after a fire.
Fire fighting operations were under the direction of Cambria Chief Willard F. Antoncich.
Cambria sent about 45 men and five pieces of equipment. Pekin sent their snorkel, about 30 men, and had a pumper on standby at the Cambria Fire Hall.
South Wilson sent a pumper and about 25 firemen on the second call at 3 a.m., followed by Pekin at about 3:30 a.m.