Barn Fire Devastates Owner

<p>Barn Fire Destroys Nine Dogs</p>

Barn Fire Destroys Nine Dogs

A tragic fire in Benton City last night has destroyed more than just a barn... it took the lives of nine dogs.

The owner of the property, Sharon Shepard, says she heard an explosion and came out running to see her barn engulfed in flames...

Shepard is a 20-year hobby breeder of mostly labradors and says it has been a devastating loss for her.

Nine of her 12 dogs are gone, dogs she had housed inside the barn to keep warm, and she says she hasn't been able to get near the barn since yesterday.

What's left of the barn at 390 Prairie Northwest, is a burned out frame and the smell of the dead animals.

Benton County Fire District #2 Captain Dennis Bates says it may have been a case of the pressure tank being too close to the hot water heater that caused the accident. But the official report is not in.

"I looked out the window and saw just a ball of flame rolling out of the room where the dogs sleep. I was down the hill in 30 seconds. But by the time I oopened the barn door, the flames were coming out of the room... I'm not sure what i'm gonna do without them. Losing the property and barn is one thing, but the animals can't be replace," said Shepard.

She says this tragedy, while sad, will not stop her from breeding dogs. She says she will mourn her nine lost... And then move on.

Shepard also owns two horses, who were fortunately not in the barn at the time of the fire. They are both fine.