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Farmers Praise Firefighters' Response

Editor, The Herald:

We would like to thank and commend the Cumberland Volunteer Fire Department, the John Randolph Fire Department, the Virginia Department of Forestry, and our neighbors for their invaluable help in responding to a serious fire on our family farm on the Putney Road in Cumberland County on May 22.

We received a call from a neighbor Monday night after midnight that we had a stack of hay on fire. A stacked pile of approximately 100 round hay rolls caught fire within 30 feet of another large stack of hay and within 50 feet of a barn full of hay and equipment. Both volunteer fire departments were quick to respond. They worked hard until four o'clock in the morning to ensure the fire did not spread to the second stack of hay or the barn and its contents. We also want to acknowledge the assistance of Dr. Roger Hatcher, our next door neighbor. He brought us his tractor and loader which proved invaluable in preventing the fire from spreading.

Then late Tuesday afternoon the fire flared back up with winds blowing smoke and embers straight towards and into the hay barn. The Cumberland Volunteer Fire Department was once again quick to arrive with many of the same faces from the early morning hours. This time they deemed it would be best to bring in the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) and have them push the burning hay to a safe distance from the barn and the other hay stack. VDOF quickly responded to the phone call and used its heavy equipment to relocate the burning hay to a distant and safe location.

Because of the time these individuals volunteered from their own personal lives, our family was spared severe property damage, and they saved our winter feed supply.

Thank You!

Robert and Guy Hazlegrove

AllenWood Farm

Cumberland