Nanny goats and babies perish in barn fire near Elrod

Wanda English Burnett

“It’s pretty devastating,” John Garner told the Osgood Journal just hours after several goats perished in a barn fire at his residence just east of Elrod on Monday morning, January 9. The Garners raise goats and other livestock on their mini-farm at 4203 E US 50.

“The fire was fully engulfed when we arrived,” noted Mike Alloway, firefighter for the Milan Volunteer Fire Department. He said the barn, which was a small metal structure, was in flames when the firemen arrived on the scene and there was no saving the animals inside. Alloway said the call came in early, about 5 a.m. Monday morning.

Garner said there were upwards of 20 goats, nannies and their kids, inside. “We put the mammas and babies up because they are the most vulnerable,” he said, saying two billy goats and a llama were outside and lived.

The barn was a total loss, along with the animals inside. “We are just waiting to find out about the insurance,” Garner said. He sadly noted that no amount of insurance could replace the animals because they were the children’s pets. He said their children, who primarily work with the animals, were really torn up. “It’s such a sad day here,” he concluded.

The Milan Volunteer Fire Department called for mutual aid when they were first dispatched. “We didn’t know exactly what we had and wanted to be covered,” Alloway said. They called for help from neighboring fire department, Versailles. Alloway said Versailles Volunteer Fire Department rolled with a tanker, but it wasn’t needed.

According to information from the Ripley County Sheriff’s Department, US 50 was closed for a short period of time.

The cause of the fire had not been determined at press time.