FARMINGTON – A more than century-old barn burned to the ground after a fire broke out early Thursday morning in Farmington, killing a horse and leaving the family-owned farm operation in ruins.

Men driving by noticed the flames engulfing the barn at Knowlton Corner Farm about 4 a.m. They stopped their pick-up truck, ran to the nearby home and started pounding on the windows and doors to wake up the people inside, said Arleen Masselli, who owns the farm with her husband, Robert.

The couple got other family members and workers who live at the home to safety, returning to the farm to let the nearly 20 horses in a fenced pasture near the barn free, she said. One horse that had been inside the barn died in the fire.
Firefighter managed to extinguish the blaze before it spread to the home, which is just a few yards away from the barn complex that includes an indoor horse riding facility that also burned to the ground, Arleen Masselli said the morning after the fire.
The family runs a horse-boarding and riding operation along with other businesses in the complex at 341 Knowlton Corner Road, she said.
They had invested thousands of dollars in the facility in recent years and planned to open a kitchen in the complex, hoping to expand a family business of producing popular baked goods that are sold at local stores, she said.
The family had insurance on the complex and no other injuries were reported.
Check back later for more details.

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