Fire Destroys Cars in Family's Barn - - ABC13

Fire Destroys Cars in Family's Barn

Diane Girling by Her Father's Barn Diane Girling by Her Father's Barn

Amherst Co., VA - A fire in Amherst County burned down one family's heirloom. Friday morning, a barn on Fair Lea Lane caught fire causing $300,000 in damage.

The owner stored his collectible cars in this barn, including old British sports cars of the 50's and 60's. Though the family does have insurance, they say there's no way to replace what they lost.

"I spent many hours in there fixing the cars up," said Rowland Girling, the owner.

This isn't the way Girling planned on spending quality time with his daughter Diane.

"He'd always tease me and say, ‘When are we going to get your car fixed up and drive it around?'" said Diane.

Her car was a red TR6 with a black top that he hoped to work on with her, but instead they watched it burn together.

"It's pretty surreal, this morning doesn't feel real, the firemen aren't here anymore so it's like, ‘Did this really happen?" said Girling.

At 7 a.m. a neighbor knocked on their door to tell them the barn was on fire. By that time, it was fully engulfed.

"It was about even with the silo, it was about three stories from the bottom," said Diane.

Three stories high with farm equipment and had 10 convertibles inside. Girling had been collecting them since college.

"There was a TR3 a Jaguar XKE," said Girling.

But not all of Girling's collectibles were in the barn. He still has this 1961 Triumph among two others that were stored away in another building.

"So we've still got something to play with," he said.

But losing the barn wasn't easy either. It was built in the 1930s and was part of the family farm he grew up on.

"He's holding up real well, I'm proud of this guy," said Diane.

"I was in a little bit of a panic to start with but nobody got hurt, so it's just something that happens," said Girling.

Right now, the cause of the fire is unknown. Girling says he does not plan on getting any more cars to replace the ones he lost.

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