Barn fire in Independence kills sheep, chickens

Three sheep, three lambs and 13 chickens died in this pole barn fire on March 23 at 2365 Nelson Road in Independence. (Photo courtesy of West Hennepin Public Safety)
Three sheep, three lambs and 13 chickens died in this pole barn fire on March 23 at 2365 Nelson Road in Independence. (Photo courtesy of West Hennepin Public Safety)

Three sheep, three lambs and 13 chickens perished in a March 23 fire that destroyed a pole barn in Independence.

On Thursday, March 23, at 6:02 a.m., West Hennepin Public Safety Department and Delano Fire Department were dispatched to a garage fire at 2365 Nelson Road. Police Officers’ Aaron Geddes and Jon Howes from West Hennepin Public Safety arrived on scene and observed a detached pole barn engulfed in flames. The pole barn was positioned well away from the residence and did not pose a threat to other buildings, according to WHPS.

Contact was made with the homeowners, Stephen and Ruth Clark, who confirmed no people were inside the burning structure but their animals were. The Clarks stated they woke up that morning and looked out the window to find the southwest part of the pole barn was on fire, according to police. Ruth said the fire was too intense to do anything. The pole barn was built approximately one year ago.

Delano Fire Department arrived to extinguish the fire. The Maple Plain and Watertown Fire Departments assisted Delano Fire. The pole barn was destroyed and all animals perished due to the fire.

WHPS Sgt. Rick Denneson said, “We are glad that no one was injured in the fire and sorry for the Clarks’ loss of their animals in this structure fire. Thank you to all the neighbors who came and helped where they could. We as a community are very lucky and appreciate the fast and professional response of the Delano Fire Department to this fire.”