Barn fire hits animal sanctuary in Ravenna

RAVENNA, Ohio (WKBN) — Tonight we’re seeing firsthand the aftermath of barn fire in Ravenna.

Four animals were killed in the fire at Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary.

First News Reporter Julie Bercik spent the afternoon with the farm’s founder who is still trying to make sense of what happened.

This is the first time Annette Fisher has been inside the goat sheep barn.

There are reminders everywhere of the pot bellied pig, rooster and two goats that died in the five alarm fire.

“I can still see the animals that were in here when we were trying to rescue them and couldn’t get them out,” said Annette Fisher, executive director, Happy Trails Farm.

Ashley discovered the fire Friday. She’s not ready to talk about it yet. It’s hard for Annette to talk about it too.

“We’re just really struggling and with what happened, making sense of it and trying  to move forward,” said Fisher.

The fire was contained to the one barn. Firefighters told Fisher the fire started in the front right corner.  Annette says the only thing she can think of is a heat lamp above the chicken cage.

“It wasn’t touching anything it wasn’t up against the wall, it wasn’t against the fence or anything like that. And our electric in all of our barns here at happy trails is over and above any code,” said Fisher.

For the staff and volunteers there’s an overwhelming sadness. The animals are like family.

“You just don’t say they’re just a rooster, you know it’s Jason the rooster and I was involved in bringing him from Cleveland,” said Cindy Dilley, volunteer at Happy Trails.

Through the pain, there is a reason to smile. These two goats, Odessa and Natasha were rescued from the fire, so were two cats. Natasha goes to schools for educational visits. Odessa is a frequent guest at nursing homes.

“She brings a lot of joy to absolutely everybody she comes into contact with” said Fisher.

All of the farm animals at Happy Trails were either neglected or abused. The animal sanctuary rescues them. It never thought it would be the one that needs help.

“To have something like that happen that’s beyond our control  and we weren’t able to save them., it was heartbreaking for all of us,” said Fisher.

Fisher says the barn is a total loss, and she hopes to rebuild it.

Until then she wants to thank everyone for their support


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