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

Update: Calves die as fire destroys barn near Lyle

Published 4:30pm Monday, December 17, 2012

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

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

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 roughly 13 calves inside, was on fire.

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

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

Among the calves, Anderson lost a generator and other items. Anderson’s fiance, along with others, arrived while the shed was burning. 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.

Neither Anderson nor Lyle Fire Chief Dan Frank could determine the cause of the blaze. Frank suspects the cause could be electrical.

No people were hurt in the fire.

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