Fire destroys barn, 14 calves killed - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fire destroys barn, 14 calves killed

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By Cade Fowler - bio | email 

ELLENTON, GA (WALB) – Down a quiet stretch of Alton Road, tucked behind a country home, a tin barn is roped off with emergency tape.

It was inside this barn Saturday afternoon when a fire broke out, quickly engulfing the building in flames. 

"We just heard two booms back-to-back," said Amanda Brown. She and her son, Walt, were in their living room when they heard the sound of an air compressor exploding and looked out the window.

"It was just engulfed in flames and smoke," she said.

"My wife called me in a panic. She was just beside herself. I couldn't even understand what she was saying," said Jody Brown.

He was in Adel when the fire started. When he got home, he found his barn destroyed along with everything inside it, including 14 calves.

"I told my baby boy the calves are gone and the barn is, too," said Brown.

The Browns only had the calves for a week when they perished in the fire. He bought them so his kids could raise them.

"We went to Brooks County and got them. They were only a week old," he said. "It was more or less to give my kids something to do."

Ellenton Volunteer firefighters battled the intense flames for nearly an hour. Along with the calves, thousands of dollars worth of tools, a 4 wheeler, and an air compressor were all lost in the fire. The blaze was so strong it melted a golf cart, leaving nothing but the axle.

Still, the Browns are lucky.

"My brother that goes to church with me is on the volunteer fire department. He said if had of opened the door, I could been a fatality with the barn. And that's what I would have been doing - trying to get my calves out," said Brown.

Fire officials believe that an electrical short in the freezer likely sparked the fire. Firefighters were able to save the family's dogs whose pin is located behind the barn.

Mean time, Mr. Brown says he hopes to get his kids some new calves to continue their project.

The Browns estimate the loss at several thousand dollars. Fortunately, they have insurance.

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