Family-owned farm plans to rebuild following massive fire

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Marne, Mich. — A barn that’s part of a long-time family business in Ottawa County is now a smoldering pile of rubble and ash following a massive fire that ripped through the structure early Sunday morning.

But even with the tremendous loss, the business will go on, as the family is already assessing and making plans to rebuild. Operations can continue through other relative’s farms in the area, according to Pat Burdick, whose family owns the Burdick Beef Farm.

“It’ll happen, it has to,” she said, “that’s how we earn our living. We’re just thankful nobody got hurt.”

Nine fire departments from multiple counties and municipalities as far as Sparta responded to the fire shortly after 1:30 a.m. at Burdick Farms on 16th Avenue in Marne.  When crews first arrived, they reported heavy flames and smoke from the structure and immediately started calling for additional manpower.

“The whole sky was lit up,” said Burdick. “I mean, you could see the flames from over on Arthur Street.”

“It’s all gone.”

marne_barn_fire_3The fire quickly tore through a facility which housed farm equipment and feed for their cattle. Luckily, the livestock housed just about 20 feet away in another barn was spared.


marne_barn_fire_2“It was a miracle for those cattle not to run through the fence and take off,” Burdick said.

The damage to the facility and its contents is extensive, and the family estimated a loss of up to a quarter of a million dollars in equipment from tractors to dump trucks and four-wheelers.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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