MERIDIANVILLE, Ala. -- Tate Farms is a popular fall destination, and a favorite for families in and around the Tennessee Valley. Sunday they faced a significant loss after an overnight fire.
"It's a devastating hit at us this time of year, with our season so close," said Stewart McGill, managing partner for Tate Farms.
With fall right around the corner, Tate Farms is now suffering from the total loss of their animal barn and part of their playground after a fire early Sunday morning.
They were able to get most of their animals out, but unfortunately did have some losses.
"We ended up losing four pigs last night that were new to us yesterday (Saturday), so it was pretty heartbreaking for us," McGill said.
He said the barn was completely gone in the span of about three hours.
"The local volunteer fire departments did everything in their power to save those animals, and what a shout out we give to those first responders that were here last night," he said.
McGill said they plan on rebuilding the barn better than ever. They believe the fire is a blessing in a disguise.
"It'll be twice the size that it was, and the structures and the slides and all that are gone, they'll be two to three times. We're going to use this opportunity to grow for the next ten years," he explained.
He said they want to say thank you to everyone for all of the support they have already received.
"The hundreds and hundreds of people that have called us, and messaged us, and emailed us about volunteering. What a showing and a pour out from this community," McGill said.
McGill wants to assure the public, Tate Farms will be open the first day of the 2017 season on September 25.
"This is going to be the year of the pumpkin patch for everyone that can come out. It'll be our finest hour. It's going to take a lot of work, a lot of grit, and a lot of sweat, but we're going to prevail. And we'll be ready for you guys," he said.
McGill said there will be some needs they have, but the best way to help them out right now is by joining them. Tate Farms is hiring in two weeks, call them and schedule an interview. For now, they don't need any volunteers, and they are asking the public to refrain from trying to come out and see the damage.
They are trying to clean up right now and let the fire department work. The cause of the fire is under investigation.