A Cache County man who was awakened early Wednesday morning by the popping and crackling of a fire burning just outside of his home created some alarm when his wife could not find him right away as she was preparing to evacuate the home.
Cache County Fire Marshal Jason Winn said it appeared that a heat lamp used inside the barn started a fire, and the structure was fully engulfed in flames when the homeowner woke up at about 4:25 a.m.
The man ran out to the barn, located just 30 feet away from his home, to rescue the animals that were either inside the structure or penned up adjacent to the barn.
“He saved everything but the chickens,” Winn said, including the ducks, goats, their babies, a pig and a horse.
However, while he was out taking care of the animals, his wife feared he had run into the barn but was unable to verify his safety for nearly 20 minutes, as the trees around the barn caught on fire and the flames threatened to spread to the home.
A Cache County deputy who was responding to the scene said she could see the fire from her vantage point on U.S. Highway 89/91 in the Nibley area and it was “quite large.”
Winn said there are no fire hydrants in the area so several fire departments responded, including Smithfield, Newton, Wellsville, Logan, Hyrum, Mendon and Trenton, bringing additional water supply and other resources under a countywide mutual aid agreement.
The fire was knocked down by 5 a.m., and while the heat caused the vinyl siding on the home to bow, the fire was contained to a portion of the barn. Winn said in addition to the animals, it contained saddles and tack, antlers, and some collectible farm equipment. The total loss is expected to be about $25,000.