Janesville73°

Livestock perish in Rock County barn fire

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ROCHELLE B. BIRKELO
March 3, 2009
— Two goats were killed during a Monday fire that destroyed a barn and damaged a nearby garage west of Janesville.

Janesville firefighters were dispatched to 5931 W. Highway 14 at 11:31 a.m. for a barn fire. Upon arrival, they found flames engulfing the barn and fire on the side of a three-car garage about 50 feet away from the barn, said Lt. Michael Rundle of the Janesville Fire Department.


"The radiant heat given off by the fire itself was enough to ignite fire in the garage," Rundle said.


The house of John and Janice Sullivan, which was another 20 feet from the garage, "was already getting very warm. We had to put water on that as well," Rundle said.


None of the Sullivan family was home at the time of the fire, Rundle said.


The Rock County Sheriff's Office closed Highway 14 during the duration of the fire and rerouted traffic, Rundle said.


Footville, Milton and Edgerton fire departments each provided a tanker at the fire scene, where firefighters remained until 3:25 p.m., said Scott Morovits, Janesville Fire Department shift commander.


The cause of the fire remains "undetermined after investigation," Morovits said.


Estimated damages include $100,000 to both buildings and another $50,000 to the contents of the barn.


Inside the 30-by-60-foot, older, wood barn were the two goats that died, straw for feed and small machinery and equipment in addition to some tools and household items, Rundle said.


Heaters used to keep water for the animals from freezing were the only electrical equipment operating inside the barn, he said.


Other animals at the farm included a horse, a couple of alpacas and 10 sheep that were not injured, Rundle said.



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