Amity barn collapses, horses, cat rescued

A barn more than 100 years old became a pile of rubble after collapsing Friday in Amity. The weight of close to 18 inches of heavy wet snow that fell Thursday could be to blame. (Photo by John Strickler/The Mercury)
Even though a barn collapsed it was still a lucky day for Sandy Felty and the animals at the Sauer farm. A horse named Lucky pictured here with Felty, and Pop Tart the pony were rescued from inside the fallen structure Friday morning, Feb. 14, 2014. (Photo by John Strikler/The Mercury)

AMITY — A local family is thankful no one was hurt after the roof of a barn collapsed Friday morning, Feb. 14.

Sandy Felty, daughter of Dr. Ed Sauer who owns the farm on Bieber Lane, said the barn and land it stands on have been in her family for several generations and they had no warning that the roof might give way.

Felty said the barn was made of wood and field stone. “It was made to last,” said Felty.

So it took her father by surprise when he awoke around 5 a.m. to see that the roof had caved in, trapping a horse and pony that were inside.

Crews from the Amity Fire Company were dispatched to the barn at 7 a.m. and immediately began assessing the situation, according to Chief Mike Zomolski.

“The top floor caved in and we started pulling debris from the barn to gain access to the horses,” he said.

Sauer and Felty got the horses out, “because they were trained to handle the horses,” according to Zomolski.

Felty said her father immediately went to check on the horses.

“The animals are our No. 1 priority,” she said.

Luckily neither Lucky the horse nor Pop Tart the pony were injured

Berks County and surrounding areas were blanketed by around 18 inches of snow when a Nor’easter passed over the region Thursday and despite the Felty’s claim that the barn was built to last, Zomolski said the weight of the snow and the age of the barn was not a good combination.

“It was pretty cut-and-dry,” he said about the cause of the collapse.

Felty said one of the horses belongs to her family while one was being boarded. Both are now being kept in another barn owned by the family.

Felty said the family had not yet decided if it would rebuild the structure, as the cost of returning it to its original state would be very expensive.

Zomolski said crews were on the scene for about an hour.

EARLIER VERSION OF THE STORY

(Updated at 2 p.m.) AMITY — A local family is thankful no lives were lost when the roof of a several hundred year old barn collapsed Friday morning.

Sandy Felty, daughter of Dr. Ed Sauer who owns the farm on Bieber Lane, said the barn and land it stands on have been in her family for several generations and they had no forewarning that the roof might give way.

Felty said the barn was made of wood and field stone. “It was made to last,” said Felty.

So it took her father by surprise when he awoke around 5 a.m. to see that the roof had caved in, trapping a horse and pony that were inside.

Felty said her father immediately went to check on the horses. “The animals are our No. 1 priority,” she said.

Luckily neither Lucky the horse nor Pop Tart the pony were injured and both were removed from the barn safely, along with a cat that was inside the tack room, Felty said.

Felty said one of the horses belongs to her family while one was being boarded. Both are now being kept in another barn owned by the family.

It was not known officially what caused the collapse and officials at the Amity Fire Company, which responded to the scene of the collapse Friday morning, were not immediately available to comment.

Berks County and surrounding areas were blanketed by around 18 inches of snow when a Nor’easter passed over the region Thursday, which may have contributed to the collapse.

Felty said the family had not yet decided if it would rebuild the structure, as the cost of returning it to its original state would be very expensive.

EARLIER VERSION OF THIS STORY

AMITY ­ Heavy snow on the roof of a 100-year-old barn caused it to collapse, trapping a horse and pony inside, according to a report on WFMZ-TV.

The early morning roof collapse at the farm on Bieber Lane did not injure the horse and pony who were rescued by responding fire crews.

Check back here for updates on this story.

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