A fire at Hope Cress Farms in Hope, New Jersey, claimed the lives of hundreds of animals just after midnight Thursday.
The Hope Volunteer Fire Department confirmed that 40 pigs as well as 400 chickens were killed in the flames, Lehigh Valley Live reported. On top of the farm animal casualties, a barn, tractors and additional general farming equipment were reportedly destroyed as well.
After a destructive fire killed 400 chickens and 40 pigs, more than $65,000 has been raised for Hope Cress Farms in Hope Township. https://t.co/9ZVIaXQ0WJ
— lehighvalleylive.com (@lehighvalley) December 11, 2023
Volunteer firefighters were able to save the greenhouse and other buildings on the farm, according to Lehigh Valley Live. Cows on the farm reportedly survived the blaze. (RELATED: Dairy Farm Explosion Kills Almost 18,000 Cattle, Critically Injures 1 Person)
The Van Grouw family, the owners of the farm, are “in shambles” as a result of the devastating fire, Lehigh Valley Live reported. (RELATED: ‘Slow-Motion Heist’: Midwestern Farmers Accuse Chinese Communist Party Of Stealing Valuable American Seeds)
“This is more than a hobby farm, this is their livelihood,” the volunteer fire department stated in a post on Facebook.
Members of the community are finding a way to offer support to the family through a GoFundMe fundraiser reportedly set up by a local elected official and firefighter John Kruk, according to Lehigh Valley Live. In just three days, donations reportedly reached more than $65,000.
“The impact of this fire goes beyond the loss of livestock; it has shattered their way of life and left them grappling with the daunting challenge of starting anew,” Kruk wrote.
The Van Growu family’s insurance recently lapsed, so now they are obligated to find ways to “replace lost tools and feed their surviving cows” on their own, Kruk added in the fundraiser description.
A probe has been opened into the cause of the fire, CBS News reported.
Aside from the animals and equipment, no one was reportedly hurt by the fire.