OLD SAYBROOK — Firefighters responded to a barn fire in Old Saybrook shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday.
They found a fully involved barn fire at Endrich farm on Middlesex Turnpike. Old Saybrook firefighters called for mutual aid. The Essex and Westbrook Fire Departments assisted in putting out the fire, but unfortunately not before four oxen were killed in the blaze.
The owner, Earl Endrich Jr., tells FOX61 that he believes the cause was electrical. The four oxen, two devons and two durhams, were used to pull logs and timber from the 88-acre farm to be milled or sold for firewood.
Endrich, whose family has farmed the land for 150 years, also lost tools and equipment in the fire, including an antique ox cart.
But the loss of the oxen was the toughest. “That pair of Devons I raised since they were eight years old,” said Endrich, “and the Durhams were young. They were four years old. They were just learning how to work.”
Five sheep that were in the barn were able to flee. The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation by the OSFD.