When her brother woke the household early Tuesday morning with the cry that there was a fire in the barn, Ruth Ahola looked out and saw the building all in flames. “The four of us came running out the front door. The barn was just totally engulfed. You couldn’t even get close to it,” she said. “My pony was inside and we knew he was gone.” The West St., Plympton barn was reduced to charcoal and ash.
The rest of the more than a dozen horses had spent the night outside and were safe but the flames and noise of it all terrified them and it was all Ruth and her family could do to keep them from running back to the barn, a place usually safe. “I needed halters,” she said.
All the halters and lead lines were ashes in the barn. They were able to collect the horses and ended up tying them to trees with ropes. “I’ve heard of barn fires that happened to other people, and you feel for them. You do. But when you experience it, you know what a deep loss it is.” She recalled the horses from years past that are gone, but their halters with the names engraved on brass plates were keepsakes in the barn – all gone now.
“It could have been so much worse,” Ruth said. “I have to look that it could have been 14 or 15 died … I want to say that we were lucky that we only lost one. I have to look at it like that. That’s the only way to make sense out of it.”
Out of desperation, Ruth put a plea on the Facebook website “Plympton Helping Plympton” asking for halters and lead lines. “Lost everything…”
“I can’t relay how much the people of Plympton have given – the people who came – neighbors – just people – asking what they can do to help. What do you need? Horse people are great people. Plympton people are great people,” she said. Tractor Supply gave them whatever they needed to help now. Someone came with a whole stack of new feed and water buckets. There is a large mound of donations from many people, all of whom just want to help.
Ruth has lived in Plympton since they built their house in 1988, built the barn in 1989. “It’s a long time,” she said. It’s such a nice town.”
Her best friend set up a “GoFundMe” page for them and if you want to help you can go to gofundme.com/barn-fire-in-massachusettsfamily-lost-everything?
Plympton Fire Captain John Sjostedt says that the fire remains under investigation.