BUFFINGTON TOWNSHIP — A Monday morning fire that destroyed a Buffington Township barn, killing several animals that lived inside of it, is being ruled an accident.
According to Vintondale Volunteer Fire Department Chief Robert Noble, a state police fire marshal investigated the fire at 611 Rexis Road and found that the blaze spontaneously ignited in some green hay, which was being stored inside the barn.
The barn was at the home of Mike and Pam Sees, who were cleaning up from the blaze on Tuesday.
Pam Sees said the barn, a pole building sided with spare garage door panels, was home to numerous animals. She said she lost two llamas, Mike and Sunshine; two goats, one of which was named Oreo; an Alpaca named Garcia; Kitty the barn cat; and three chickens.
“I’m heartbroken,” she said.
Sees said a potbellied pig she thought had perished in the flames managed to survive. Sees said she had tried to get the pig out of the barn, but it ran back inside. She said firefighters later found the pig, singed but otherwise OK, under a piece of tin roof. When they lifted up the metal sheet, the pig ran out from under it, she said.
The fire was reported around 8:28 a.m. Sees said a neighbor, who was driving by, spotted the smoke and alerted her and her husband by laying on the horn. Sees said her husband ran out and began trying to throw water on the fire, which was limited to one corner. But in an instant, the barn went up, she said.
She said the animals are her pets, and she spends 2 to 2ﾽ hours every day feeding and watering them and cleaning up after them.
Noble said the barn was uninsured, but Sees said she is thankful for the support and help she has been getting from the community.
(Tom Peel/Gazette photo)