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Fire rips through barn at nature center

May 29, 2009 7:01:23 AM PDT
Dozens of animals were rescued from a fire at a south suburban nature center. Firefighters arrived early Friday morning to find flames shooting from the roof of a barn in University Park.

About two dozen llamas, geese, horses, cows, rabbits and various birds live in the habitat.

The village runs the farm, Riegel Farmstead, which popular with families and schools in the area.

Police, firefighters and volunteers all helped to save as many creatures as they could, but some of the smaller animals did not survive.

University Park Fire Department Chief Chuck Exner says about a dozen animals were killed, including two horses, two bulls, a goat and many chickens.

Exner said a firefighter was kicked by a llama while attempting a rescue. The man sustained minor injuries.

Exner says the fire is under investigation but appears to be accidental.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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