A livestock barn was gutted by a fire northwest of city limits killing 10 pigs and 10 chickens on Tuesday, Aug. 20.
Tracy Fire Department Division Chief Andrew Kellogg said the fire in the wood-and-metal barn at 14100 W. Middle Road was called in at 6:01 p.m.
Members of the department’s Engine 94 crew, stationed at Hanson Road, were driving into town for a meeting when they saw black smoke rising near the mall.
The crew called the dispatch center and learned it was a structure fire.
Middle Road residents Terri Gonigan and her daughter Lisa were getting ready for dinner when they saw smoke next door and alerted the fire department.
"We were watching television and saw the black smoke," Terri Gonigan said. "We called 911 and could hear the sirens coming."
Both saw flames rolling from the barn.
"I was afraid the trees were going to go up," Terri Gonigan said.
Her daughter watched as the barn roof sagged in the fire.
"It went up fast, less than half an hour," Lisa Gonigan said.
Kellogg said fire crews found smoke and flames rising from the barn, which stood next to two other structures, set back about 450 feet from the road.
Within 10 minutes, half of the barn had collapsed, Kellogg said.
Joseph Barnes, who lives two houses down, stood in the road watching smoke drift from the rubble.
"I saw 10 feet of flames on the top of the barn, and about half the building was on fire," he said.
Kellogg estimated the barn to be 50 feet by 50 feet. It housed livestock and farm equipment. Fire department officials were not sure who owned the barn that burned.
The fire department had 20 people fighting the blaze, which took about 20 minutes to control.
The four adult pigs, six piglets and 10 chickens that were killed were trapped inside the barn. A nearby livestock barn housing chickens, ducks and pigs was kept from catching fire.
Kellogg said it’s likely an electrical problem near the front of the barn started the fire, which caused a $100,000 loss of property and livestock.
Fire crews spent an hour and half dousing hot spots in the smoldering barn.
• Contact Glenn Moore at 830-4252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.