JACKSON TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A fire that broke out at The Lands at Hillside Farms early Tuesday morning has left one building a total loss.
Multiple fire companies headed to Hillside Road after a driver passing by called 911 just after 5 a.m. saying a building was in flames.
“It’s just one of those things. It was probably burning inside—by the time the first engine arrived, it was going through the roof. Once it goes through the roof, you’re surrounded and drowned,” stated Fire Cheif Dan Manzoni of Jackson Township.
Fire crews responded to reports of a fire at The Lands at Hillside Farms in Jackson Township. Crews tell Eyewitness News that fire could be seen through the roof of the building as companies arrived on scene. No animals were harmed in the blaze but the building has been deemed a total loss.
“As soon as you hear it’s up this way, our cow barn is right here, and that would’ve been I mean my stomach turned but it was this building and there’s not even a turtle in there and there is sometimes,” Chet Mozloom, Executive Director at Hillside Farms.
The lands at hillside farms are a piece of history here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The farm was founded in 1881 and the nonprofit organization began in 2005
Mozloom says the education center right behind me was actually made by his team with wood milled from right here at the lands at Hillside Farms and he says he is just glad the fire did not break out at one of the more historical buildings that have been here for hundreds of years.
“There is a lot of passion in the building. It was sotted with hemlock that was milled from the farm, from the mountain that is behind us. So that’s gone. But it is shocking to see that this is the building that caught on fire. It is very new—a decade old,” explained Mozloom.
The education center is home to summer camps that have been held at the farm for 13 years.
He says this year’s camps were set to begin in the middle of June. In a building that now is a total loss.
“We are going to have to find a way to get a structure before June. I mean, we’re going to find a way somehow. We have camp; it’s sold out. This is home base for those kids,” said Mozloom.
There really is a silver lining here, no one was injured, people or animals.
The State Police Fire Marshal investigated the fire and deemed it to be accidental in nature.