Sheriff's investigators said that 22 animals perished in a Thursday morning fire that destroyed a large barn at 6020 Riddle Road, Royalton.
The owner of the property was able to rescue a horse and donkey from the burning barn after being alerted to the fire by a passerby around 8:30 a.m. Several other animals could not make it out, however, including four adult sheep, seven lambs and 11 chickens, deputies said.
Crews from the Rapids, Wolcottsville and Terry's Corners fire companies were able to keep the fire from reaching a nearby fuel tank, but several other buildings on the property did sustain exposure damage. The fire is believed to have started in the loft area on the north side of the barn.
No people were hurt in the fire, and no damage estimate was given.