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Community raising money for family that lost barn, animals in fire in Warren County

HOPE TOWNSHIP, NJ (Warren County) – The Hope Township community is helping the Van Grouw family recover from a barn fire that killed pigs and chickens Thursday morning.

Troopers responded to a structure fire on Union Brick Road in Hope Township around 12:30 a.m. on Thursday morning, according to New Jersey State Police spokesperson Trooper Troy McNair.

The devastating fire consumed their barn, claiming the lives of over 40 pigs and 400 chickens. The Van Grouws, who have dedicated their lives to nurturing their family farm, now face the daunting task of rebuilding from the ashes.

John Kruk has set up a GoFundMe page to help the family. It had raised more than $25,000 toward a $75,000 goal as of Friday morning.

“Hope Cress Farms is more than just a piece of land; it is the Van Grouw family’s livelihood, an active farm, and a cornerstone of the community. The impact of this fire goes beyond the loss of livestock; it has shattered their way of life and left them grappling with the daunting challenge of starting anew,” Kruk said.
“To make matters worse, fate dealt a cruel blow as their insurance had recently lapsed, leaving the family to bear the financial burden of the extensive damages. The immediate needs are pressing, including securing hay for their surviving cows and replacing vital tractors and farm equipment that were crucial to their daily operations,” Kruk said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, McNair said.

For ways to help or to donate, click here.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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