Nearly two dozen animals were killed after the barn they were inside caught on fire and was deemed a total loss on Christmas Eve near Marengo.
The Marengo Fire and Rescue Districts responded around 7:20 p.m. Saturday to the 8600 block of South Route 23 in unincorporated Marengo for a report of a structure fire.
Marengo Fire & Rescue Districts Communication Specialist Alex Vucha said firefighters arrived on the scene within five minutes.
They found heavy smoke and fire showing from a 40-foot by 40-foot pole barn at the back of the property.
Vucha said the alarm was elevated due to sub-zero windchills and the lack of hydrants in the area.
The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) was activated to the box alarm level.
Firefighters brought the wind-fueled fire under control within 45 minutes but continued to extinguish hotspots for an additional hour.
Nearly two dozen animals were killed in the fire, Vucha said. Some of them included chickens and sheep.
The barn and contents are considered a total loss with an initial estimated loss of $40,000. No other structures were damaged.
The fire is not believed to be suspicious in nature.
A wood-burning stove is being investigated as a possible cause, Vucha said.
The Woodstock, Harvard, Union, Genoa-Kingston, Boone 2 and Hampshire fire departments responded to assist.
The fire remains under investigation by the Marengo Fire and Rescue Districts.