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Dave Wojeski/For The Recorder Firefighters, right, battle a blaze at the Korona Dairy Farm on Route 107 in Perth, Friday evening.

Caroline Murray/Recorder staff Some of the cattle at the Korona Dairy Farm in Perth who made it out safely from Friday evening's fire are pictured.


Blaze devastates Perth dairy farm

Saturday, July 19, 2014 - Updated: 4:08 AM


PERTH -- Korona Dairy Farm, located on County Highway 107, was ablaze Friday evening as at least 12 fire departments worked tirelessly to put out the fire.

Stanley Korona, owner of the dairy establishment, said he lost 10 milk cows and 30 young cattle, but no farm hands or family members were injured as a result of the blaze.

"It took 40 years to build it and an hour to burn," Korona said as he stood at the scene of the fire, watching his business turn into debris.

The fire began at around 5:30 p.m., Korona said.

Korona said he was outside with some of his family members moving fertilizer, when they noticed the fire start at one end of the barn.

Perth Volunteer Fire Department was the first to arrive on scene. Fire Chief Pete Watrobski said the cause of the fire is still unknown.

Korona believes it was an electrical malfunction and said the barn currently stores no hay.

Watrobski said when the department first arrived on scene, the fire fighters witness flames tearing through the roof.

Watrobski said there were reports some body was trapped inside, but five minutes later the departments confirmed that was false.

Firefighters and Korona farm workers tried to move cattle out of the building quickly, however not all livestock made it out safe.

Watrobski said one of the cows trapped inside the barn had to be shot, because it was in pain.

"It was suffering," Watrobski said.

Even with at least 12 departments on scene, Watrobski said the firefighters encountered some issues putting out the blaze.

Along with Perth, Galway Volunteer Fire Department, Broadalbin-Kennyetto Fire Company, Hagaman Volunteer Fire Department, Johnstown Fire Department, Saratoga County Fire Officers and Fulton and Montgomery counties' fire and rescue services were also on scene.

Watrobski said there were more, but could not recollect all departments that responded to the fire.

After two hours of continuosly dousing the flames, the departments were finally able to control the massive flames.

He said the barn is comprised of three separate structures. Watrobski said the firefighters tried to protect exposures around the barn as much as possible. He said one silo caught on fire, one was half full and the other was empty.

After controlling the fire, Watrobski said the departments still had another four to five hours of tearing the place apart to make sure the flames did not spread.

"Unfortunately it is a devastation here because it is a family farm," Watrobski said.

Korona purchased the farm in 1965. Watrobski said he was the former Perth highway superintendent, until he retired to a life on the farm.

Perth councilman Timothy Korona works on the farm, and was reportedly away on vacation Friday.

Korona's daughter, Debbie Korona-Szwarnowicz, said her nephews work at the business.

She was at home when the fire started, and ran over when she received the unfortunate news.

"They all work here, and now it is all gone," Korona-Szwarnowicz said.

Stanley Korona said he just turned 80 two weeks ago and his grandsons were in the process of partnering to take over the business.

He said the building is a total loss.

"They are devastated," Korona said.


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