Rain, wind and heavy snow from the weekend storm brought the roof of a local dairy farm crashing down on top of approximately 80 cows, killing four of them.

Troy Fire Chief Dan Nealley said Waldo County Dispatch alerted his crew just after 8 a.m. Sunday morning, Dec. 6, about the barn collapse on Troy Center Road. When the building came down, he said, there was just enough room in the center of the quonset hut-style building that most of the cows were spared. After the cows got out, he added, it was very cold and they just wanted to head back into the demolished building.

David Quimby, who owns the dairy farm with his wife Debra, said conditions were treacherous the night before with the wind and blowing snow. “It was crazy,” he said. “I was afraid the trees by the house might topple over.”

Saturday night he got to bed late, battening everything down and making sure the barn was secure. The Quimbys discovered the barn had collapsed after their son, Shawn, came to the farm to plow around 7:30 a.m. Quimby said his son did a double take after seeing the barn, then ran in and alerted him and his wife.

”It was devastating,” he said. “We lost four (cows) right off the bat,” and added that two  animals are currently being seen by a veterinarian. “We might have to put two down,” he said, but overall, "we got lucky."

The 170-foot long steel structure housed 50 cows on the milking side, he said, and 30 heifers and steers on the other. "It was a big barn."

A fellow dairy farmer in Troy, Wayne Schofield, has taken the Quimby cows for now for milking and temporary shelter while a new structure is built. Quimby said it was not easy trying to get the cows over to the Schofields’ because “cows don’t like change.”

Nealley said several local businesses and others came to help during the chaotic event, including Chapman Services of Troy, which sells used farm and construction equipment and provided a forklift to pick up the building. Travis Sullivan of the Troy sand shed provided a front-end loader, while Burnham Fire Chief Charles King brought an excavator. Besides Troy Fire and Ambulance Service, fire crews from Burnham and Unity answered the call.

A Troy neighborhood group is spearheading a fundraiser for the Quimby family on GoFundMe to help rebuild the barn, as well as to cover other emergency costs, such as transportation of the animals and feed.

Quimby said he had some insurance on the barn and hopes it will not take too long to rebuild. "At 68 years old," he said, "it's heartbreaking."