Update: 63 sheep killed in Aurora barn fire

Barn, equipment, hay bales also lost in blaze

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AURORA – More sheep and lambs were killed in a barn fire Friday near Aurora than originally reported, according to the Brookings County Sheriff’s Office.

The fire was reported at 7:35 a.m. Friday and occurred near 218th Street and 474th Avenue, Assistant Sheriff Scott Sebring said.

The Aurora Fire Department responded and requested mutual aid, which was answered by several other fire departments in the county and ambulance services, Sebring said.

“At least one water supply unit from every department in the county (showed up),” Brookings Deputy Fire Chief Pete Bolzer said, adding that snow made it difficult to maneuver for the fire trucks and a neighbor came and cleared out some snow to make room.

Aurora Fire Chief Mike Ahartz said his crews were on the scene about four hours and were ready to go back if needed because the hay continued to smolder for a while.

“The fire was eventually extinguished. The barn was a complete loss,” Sebring said.

“A skid steer, two lawn mowers, about 250 to 300 square bales of straw, and 63 head of sheep were also lost in the fire,” he added.

The cause of the fire is unknown and is under investigation with the Brookings County Sheriff’s Office.