Barn owner vows to rebuild

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Muneer Gilani is eager to get the Severson Free Run Barn up and running again after the multi-million dollar, 50,000 square foot Busby-area barn went up in flames Sept. 19

“Our plan is definitely to rebuild,” said Gilani, adding the insurance company is still investigating the cause of the blaze.

“It’s just that the technology and the bird-welter housing is changing every day, so we want to make sure that we build with the latest technology as well as try to understand what went wrong.

“Once I get the results of that then we’ll make a definitive decision in consultation with our neighbors and the individuals who live around the barn, as well as those who work at the barn to make sure that everyone’s needs are met.”

While the fire put an end to all regular operations at the barn, Gilani noted that his employees are still working.

“Thus far we’ve been able to find activities for everyone else to be involved in, whether it’s working on other barns or helping with clean up efforts,” he said. “There’s a lot to do, you can imagine, with a site that large. So we haven’t had any shortage of work, we’re like most farms, there’s a lot to do all the time. Everyone’s working.”

Gilani noted that the fate of the original building is still anyone’s guess, though he expects he will have to rebuild.

“The walls look a little bit warped and they’re cement walls,” he said. “So I’m waiting for an engineer’s report. Verbally, he told me it looks like it probably isn’t going to work.”

He expressed his appreciation to the community during this difficult time.

“I want to thank the firefighters and the community for all their support. The firefighters came from quite far away, so we appreciate all their support. Maybe down the line we’ll have to get together and buy those folks lunch. They really did a good job for us, trying to contain things.”

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