Barn fire in Amish country kills three horses

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May 10—CANNELBURG — A barn fire northwest of Cannelburg resulted in the death of three horses. The Cannelburg Volunteer Fire Department was called to the Marvin and Mary Catherine Wagler residence at 3501 N. CR 850 E. around 10 Tuesday morning.

"A woman called in and said she heard a popping noise and when she looked outside the barn was on fire," said Cannelburg Volunteer Fire Department Lieutenant Justin Yoder. "When we arrived on the scene there were family members and other people trying to get the animals out of the barn."

Firefighters were greeted with a barn spewing smoke from all of the doors and windows, but that smoke was quickly replaced with fire.

"When we got there, there was smoke coming out of almost anywhere that it could get out of the building," said Yoder. "It was coming from the eaves and the gutters, the doorways, a window. Within a couple of minutes the barn ignited and became fire. We were able to make an interior attack to the barn. That limited how much it could spread."

The barn was 50 by 50 feet with a lean-to on the end of it where a tractor, golf cart, side-by-side and a mule were kept. Authorities believe that is the area where the fire may have started.

"There were those four pieces of equipment in that area where we think the fire originated," said Yoder. "We think it somehow started with one of those pieces of equipment. Those are about the only ignition source we could locate."

The building is not completely gone. Authorities say it still sustained significant damage and it could have been worse if there had been hay or straw stored in the loft.

"The main level where the stalls were and the floor was concrete appeared to be salvageable, along with the rear section of the barn," said Yoder. "That is still ok. There was no hay in the barn. That helped us a lot, but the fire did do quite a bit of damage to the loft."

Cannelburg was assisted by fire departments from Odon, Montgomery and Madison Township in putting out the fire.

No people were injured as a result of the blaze, but officials report three horses and two rabbits died of apparent smoke inhalation in the fire.