3 cats, one dog killed in Elbert County barn fire

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KIOWA, Colo. -- Firefighters were busy in Elbert County again on Monday morning after heavy winds helped fuel a fire inside a barn along Kiowa-Bennett Road.

The structure was about 10 miles north of Kiowa. It’s unclear what caused the barn to catch fire, but the wind didn’t help.

“My wife was in here, we’re building this home, and she was in here doing some painting and she saw some smoke and heard a popping noise and went back over to the outbuilding -- that was a barn -- and by the time she got to it there was smoke and flames coming out of it,” said Joe Drobnick, who owns the property.

Drobnick said the barn was completely engulfed within 15 to 20 minutes.

Wind gusts were hovering around 35-40 mph at the time. Firefighters worked to save the structure, but the flames and wind were too much.

“Basically, we sold our other home and put everything in it so pretty much we lost everything,” Drobnick said.

The barn was insured, but the Drobnicks’ hearts are broken. Their pets, including three cats and one dog, were trapped inside the barn. None of them was able to escape.

“The worst part is I lost my pets,” he said. “The other stuff is material, but I miss my animals already."

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