Firefighters disassemble a barn after it erupted in flames northeast of Lyle on Monday. Several calves died in the blaze. — Matt Peterson/

Fire claims barn near Lyle, several calves

Published 7:42am Tuesday, December 18, 2012

LYLE — At least eight calves died Monday afternoon when a small barn burned down northeast of Lyle.

The homeowner, Debbie Anderson, called 911 after 1 p.m. when she returned home and saw smoke. While she initially thought her son may have been burning something, she later discovered her calf barn, with 13 calves inside, was on fire.

“You just can’t imagine the cries,” a distraught Anderson said about hearing the calves inside the fire.

The homeowner of a barn that burned down northeast of Lyle on Monday shows her phone, which partially melted in the blaze.

Three calves escaped, and Anderson freed another two from the blaze; however, at least eight died. Furthermore, Anderson fears another calf may die from smoke inhalation.

Among the calves, Anderson also lost a generator and other items. Anderson’s fiance, Kent Arrington, along with several neighbors, arrived shortly after the fire claimed the barn. A firefighter pulled Anderson’s charred, partially melted phone from the wreckage.

Firefighters from Rose Creek and Lyle fire departments kept the blaze from spreading to anything else, and they completely disassembled the burnt barn before leaving.

Anderson doesn’t know how the fire started. She and others cleaned out the barn awhile back before putting the calves inside.

No people were hurt in the fire.