Prude Death Investigation

Fire destroys barn used in marriage proposal

Local News

STAFFORD, N.Y. (WROC)- When the Branton family barn in Stafford caught fire Saturday night, the flames destroyed an important piece of family history.

Chad Branton says it all started when he was trying to start a snowmobile that backfired- catching fire and spreading throughout the property that the Branton Family has owned for generations.​

“The one that the fire started in, the south side there, my grandfather built with tress he logged out of the woods on this property,” said Chad Branton, owner of the Branton family farm.

​Two barns burned down in the flames including the main barn, that had Chad Branton’s proposal to his wife painted across the front, a surprise gesture he made five years ago. ​

“So about five years ago I was going to propose to my girlfriend and I decided to do in a unique way,” said Branton.

“She walked outside and of course the first thing she looked at cuz I told her I was doing some work outside. She looked around for flowers and looking for landscaping and then she looked up and was like someone painted on the bard. And then she read it and was like really. But she did say yes,” said Branton.

Twelve fire companies responded to the fire on Saturday, crews on site battling the flames throughout the night trying to keep the fire from spreading.

​”The snow and the temperatures, little bit of a hindrance but it’s just a matter of getting the equipment here and getting the water flow sufficient enough. To fight a fire of this magnitude takes time,” said Tim Yeager the Genesee County Fire Coordinator.

​For the Branton family, while they lost the proposal sign, it was more important that everyone was okay.

“We’re both thankful that the house was untouched and there were no injuries or anything like that It was just property damage,” said Branton.

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