A fire that broke out in a barn on Cousineau Road in Lachine on Tuesday is responsible for the deaths of 26 animals owned by Michael Wilson and Katherine Brasser.
Only a goat and a cat managed to escape the fire. “Two baby goats that we were still bottle feeding. We had 5 peacocks, 2 super friendly turkeys, 2 ducks and 15 chickens,” Brasser said.
The barn was very old and was quickly brought to the ground by the flames before local fire departments could arrive. “I built the whole second floor on it. There was a lot to it that I did myself over the years,” said Wilson. “My dad releveled it when he moved it. It was in bad shape but we put in a lot of time and effort into it. The building alone had a lot of memory that was lost. More than animals were lost but the animals are what’s breaking our hearts here.”
The owners believe the fire started after one of their goats pulled down a heating lamp. “We had built a Styrofoam enclosed enclosure. It had mulch on the bottom,” Wilson said. “I was very sure that the heat lamps were secure in there, but they were always biting and ripping on stuff trying to find that bottle. I’m pretty sure they bit it and pulled that down and the 250 watt heat lamp laid right there in those shavings and started the whole barn on fire.”
The couple love having animals and own Lethal Exotics LLC, breeding and selling reptiles. They also have aspirations to start the first alligator sanctuary in the area. They’ve never experienced a loss like this. “We spent a lot of hours just spending time with animals in that barn,” said Brasser. “A lot of people watch tv and have other hobbies,” Wilson added. “We would just come out here and hang out with our animals. They’re our best friends. You can see the goat and cat that are left want everything to do with us.”
In the chaos, one of their dogs also broke his leg, and now they’re trying to raise money for that as well. “They told us that he would need surgery and it would cost between $6,500 and $7,000 for the surgery,” Wilson said. “We’re going to try and go with casting and splinting first to see if maybe we can save it. If not we might have to do surgery or amputation. We’re hoping that’s not the case.”
The link to the GoFundMe page can be found by clicking the link here.