Idaho Cheesemaker Devastated by Blaze at Goat Dairy
PARMA (KTVB) -- The owner of a Parma goat dairy and cheesemaking business is sifting through the damage after part of her operation was destroyed in an overnight fire.
The fire started around midnight Thursday at Rollingstone Chevre, located at 27349 Shelton Road.
Owner Karen Evans said the blaze is a significant blow.
"It's just so devastating, it's 27 years of work," she said.
No people or goats were injured in the fire, but the fromagerie, which held cheesemaking equipment, is a total loss.
Although firefighters originally described the roughly 2,000-square-foot structure as a barn, Evans said the building was actually her fromagerie and milk parlor, the place where much of the cheesemaking process happens. The goats reside in a different building: That barn was singed, but not badly damaged, Evans said.
Firefighters say no people or goats were hurt in the blaze, but the fromagerie is a total loss. Also destroyed was the expensive pasteurization and cheesemaking equipment that the structure held, Evans said.
"To replace all this, we're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars," she said.
Star Fire Protection District Chief Greg Timinsky said when Parma Fire crews got to the scene, flames were shooting through the roof of the building. Because of the location, firefighters from 13 different agencies were called in to help, he said.
"This is an area that doesn't have fire hydrants, so we had to call for multiple tenders," Timinsky said. "Shortly after we started fighting the fire, the roof started falling in."
The chief said crews continued to work through the morning to tear apart what's left of the structure to get at any remaining hot spots and ensure the blaze does not rekindle.
Evans praised the firefighters who battled the blaze, saying they woke her up after the blaze began.
"It was really amazing what the firefighters did, they were pounding on my bedroom window and door," she said.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Evans says she wants to restore operation and keep making cheese, but is worried her insurance does not cover as much of the damage as she had hoped.
"I hope to rebuild, but I don't know - I've got to find out what happens with the insurance," she said. "It's just kind of another hard blow here."