NEW HOLSTEIN, Wis. (WFRV) - The owners of a popular fiber farm in New Holstein are cleaning up after a fire destroyed their barn.
You may recall Local 5featured "Bleating Heart Haven" in one of our Sunday Road Trip segments.
Local 5's Millaine Wells found out much of the farm was spared thanks to a beloved animal.
Black Lab Samantha is being called a savior.
After sensing the fire she barked and barked.
"When I got her outside I could see the flames shooting out of the barn already" says Cindy Ellenbecker, Co-owner of Bleating Heart Haven.
The canine alert came just in time. Siding was already starting to melt on the couple's home.
"She really probably saved the day for us" says Ellenbecker.
The heat was so intense windows blew on a nearby shed.
Charred lawnmowers, a camper and ATVs can all be replaced.
It is history that cannot be rebuilt.
"It is sad to see that" says John Rezachek, Co-owner of Bleating Heart Haven. "We put a lot of work into this place. We were always proud of the barn and now the barn is gone".
70 goats, sheep and alpaca survived because of animal instinct.
"Thankfully when they heard explosions they ran outside" says Ellenbecker.
"Every animal here has a name" explains Rezachek. "They are like family to Cindy and I".
Three members of that family, all rabbits, were lost in the fire.
19 volunteer fire departments worked for hours to keep the flames from spreading.
"I just cannot thank those guys enough for what they did. I really appreciate it" Rezachek
According to Ellenbecker "that is a credit to every fire department. If you have not donated to your local fire department do so today, you never know when it is going to be you".
At this point the investigation is still open. Fire crews are digging through the rubble to figure out where and how this blaze started.
The fire could have been much worse. The couples crop of summer hay was set to be delivered on Wednesday.