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Horses, goats killed in Orem barn fires

OREM — Four horses and three goats were killed in two barn fires on the same property Tuesday.

Officials say the horse owner had not obtained the proper permits to build makeshift barns on the remote property. Four other horses survived as well as three more goats. But the goats were severely injured and may have to be euthanized.

"There's three that I know of that sustained pretty good burns," said Utah County Fire Marshal Dennis Barker. "Those goats, all of their fur was burned off, on the three I've seen."

The fire was near 1600 S. Geneva Road. The animals' owner was at the property about 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. Monday and was burning a fire in a 55-gallon drum for cooking, Barker said. After he left, however, strong winds kicked up and embers shot from the bottom of the barrel where holes were cut out.

"Then it caught the barn basically on fire," Barker said.

Fire crews were called just after midnight. Barker was unsure Tuesday who made the initial call. Orem fire crews were the first to arrive.

"They had to go in on this dirt road. With the moisture we've had, it made it really tough and they actually got two of their fire engines stuck," he said.

After the fire was brought under control, a larger fire engine with 4-wheel drive had to tow the other fire engines out of the mud.

Another problem with the remote location of the makeshift barns was that there was no nearby water.

"That lane is about a mile long and just past that lane is the fire hydrant, so they had to piggyback water back and forth to put the fire out," he said.

The fire was knocked down about 45 minutes after arriving, but crews remained on scene until about 5:30 a.m.

There was also a third makeshift barn on the property that housed many roosters, Barker said. The third barn also did not have a proper permit. None of the roosters were injured.

He said the owner will have to secure the proper permits if he wants to rebuild his barns.

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