Tuesday night, the farm where the childhood favorite book, Misty of Chincoteague, was set burned to the ground in Chincoteague, Virginia.
Delmarva Now reports that the Beebe Ranch, which is home to the old Misty Barn from Misty of Chincoteague, the Newberry Honor-winning book by Marguerite Henry, caught fire just after 10 p.m. Tuesday when the calls came out to the fire department.
Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company spokeswoman Denise Bowden said that the flames had fully engulfed the Misty Barn when the first truck arrived.
“When first incoming units arrived in scene, the old Misty barn was fully involved (with) flames reaching 30 feet in the air. Additionally, there were exposure problems with two homes on the north side of the barn, both of which suffered some exterior damage.”
She confirmed that all of the horses, one goat, and a cat who also lived in the barn were accounted for, including some of Misty’s descendants which were in the group.
In addition to the Chincoteague Fire Department, the Greenbackville Volunteer Fire Co. was onsite providing ladder truck support because Chincoteague’s ladder truck is out of service. The teams were able to attack the fire from both the north and south side of the structure.
Fire destroys 'Misty of Chincoteague' barn https://t.co/NpS1yofKgz
— ᗷᖇEᑎᗪᗩ ????????♀️ᗰᗩᖇIE (@BrenDee85) June 27, 2019
Other companies were called in to aid with the blaze, including Atlantic, Greenbackville, New Church, Stockton, and NASA Wallops Flight Facility. The Chincoteague Police Department stayed on-scene and remained until the fire was completely extinguished.
Bowden explains that there were no injuries, but it is a “sad day for the island.”
She continues, saying that the Beebe barn was “an iconic structure that to most people” may have looked like any other old barn but was living, breathing history to residents of the area.
The Miami Herald confirms that the horse barn is a total loss, but fortunately there were no injuries, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
— Random Goods Vintage (@tgatscher) June 21, 2019
The story of Misty of Chincoteague in 1947 was based on the stories of the wild ponies of Chincoteague, Virginia, and Assateague, Maryland, which date back to the 16th century, and the herd survives today but with new challenges.
The Inquisitr reports that the ponies have been fighting a fungal disease, called swamp cancer, which is threatening the entire herd. The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company has called in a team of veterinarians to better diagnose and treat it.
In the colder months, the disease has been under control, but with hot and humid weather arriving, the veterinarians fear a flareup in the condition.