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Barn Blog

December 12, 2014

Local Mennonites Offer to Rebuild Pole Barn Destroyed by Fire

Dan and Mary Ellen Hamm didn't think things could get much worse. A week ago a fire destroyed a pole barn at their local business in Milo, NY - Hamm's Landscaping and Design - and then freezing weather and heavy snowfall delayed their ability to clear the debris and start rebuilding.

To their surprise, though, roughly 40 Mennonites arrived days after the fire to offer their help to rebuild the pole barn for free.

Mary Ellen Hamm told the local Finger Lakes Times, "It means everything to us. We're just completely humbled by it. Words can't even describe it. We just never expected something like that".

While most of us are conditioned to think it is a cold world and you are pretty much on your own, the local Mennonites have a different view.

"They're our neighbors and that's what you do for neighbors," one was quoted as saying.

On Monday the crew got to work setting trusses for the new roof. Though the foul weather conditions have led to delays, the Mennonites are determined to see the rebuilding project through.

Fire officials suspect the blaze that destroyed the pole barn was caused by clogged flue pipe in a stove. Hamm estimates that 25 years of equipment was lost in the fire.

"We lost everything in there, from lawnmowers to snow blowers to all our spraying equipment, all our recycled engines, self-propelled mechanical devices that we had," Hamm said.

Luckily the fire was contained and did not damage the greenhouses and nursery yard on the 53-acre property owned by the Hamm family.

In return for their help, the Hamm's will make a donation to the Mennonite church.

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