Family Loses Pets & Barn in Fire

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WEST PERRY TOWNSHIP -- Melody Gingrich looks at what used to be her 100-year-old barn. The Gingrich family was inside their house near Middleburg Sunday morning when a woman knocked on their front door.

"My husband answered the door and she said your barn is on fire. We rushed out back and there it was," Melody Gingrich said.

Melody said her husband immediately tried to save the family's pets, which were inside the barn.

"The heat was very, very intense. So he turned his back and went away," Gingrich said.

More than 70 animals died in the fire. Gingrich says they were her children's pets. There were rabbits, chickens, sheep, ducklings, and a calf named twinkle. Lincoln and Hiram Gingrich were devastated to lose their calf.

"He would run around the yard with us when we would play. He would play with us," Lincoln Gingrich said.

"Our minds think of all the animals, all the little animals, all their pets. The barn went so fast that we knew it wasn't long and drawn out so we were blessed with that," Gingrich said.

Unfortunately it is not the first time this family's lives have been struck by tragedy. Almost six years ago their house was heavily damaged in a fire.

"That was totally gone, the upstairs was. The downstairs and the basement was a lot of water damage," Gingrich said.

Firefighters in Snyder County believe an electrical problem sparked Sunday's barn fire. The Gingrich family plans to rebuild the barn as soon as possible.