By Jeniece Roman
MERIDEN — As a fire burned through the roof and second story of a barn on Murdock Avenue, Kathy Robinson and her husband herded about a dozen sheep out of the barn, rescuing them from the flames.
“The barn was on fire, the fire trucks were just getting there. We were downstairs trying to get the sheep out,” said Robinson, former owner of the barn who continued to board animals there.
There were no injuries reported in the fire, which broke out about 10 a.m. at 743 Murdock Ave. It was fully extinguished by about noon.
“The animals were all taken out of the barn,” said Anna Kolodziej, the Robinsons’ daughter. “My father still had some animals and (the current owner) had allowed for the animals to stay there.”
Robinson said the current owner was housing the sheep there until after fair season. She said the sheep will be shown at the Guilford Fair, and Durham Fair, after which they will be sold.
Kathy Robinson’s son, Russell Robinson, said the barn contained bales of feeding hay that the family sells for profit in addition to the sheep. He said much of the hay either burned or was damaged by water, making it difficult to sell.
“There’s probably 500 bales of hay over there,” Robinson said.
Deputy Fire Marshal John Yacovino said there was significant damage to the side and back of the barn. He said the preliminary cause of the fire is an “unspecified electrical” event.
“We believe it’s some type of short in the electrical wiring that ignited the (hay),” Yacovino said.
Bob DeBaise, owner of the barn, was not available for comment.
Deputy Fire Chief Ryan Dunn said several firefighters stayed with the farm workers and current owner to comb through the hay to make sure the fire was completely out.