Lightning strike starts fire; destroys tobacco barn in Whately

Barn had been in the community since the 1930s

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WHATELY, Mass. (WWLP) – A tobacco barn in Whately burned to the ground early Sunday morning after allegedly being struck by lightning.

The barn was located at 279 Long Plain Rd. in Whately, right next to the Whately Elementary School. It had been in the community since the 1930s.

The barn’s previous owner called the fire in around 1 a.m. Sunday. The previous owner sold the barn 10 years ago to Fairview Farms.

Fairview Farms is owned by brothers Brad and Allen Anderson. Brad Anderson told 22News: “Sad we have to deal with this mess. Just glad the school didn’t go up in flames.”

Anderson went on to say that the barn didn’t have any tobacco inside of it, but it did contain several basket burners for tobacco. Fairview Farms has no plans to rebuild.

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