Fire destroyed a barn on Cards Mill Road in Columbia early Monday morning, but the lambs and sheep that were inside survived thanks to some creativity and a roof rake.
Four sheep and five lambs, including three that were born yesterday, were inside part of the split-level barn when the fire broke out, but they would not come out of the barn at first and officials believe that the sheep would not leave their babies.
At first, firefighters tried to use a pole to get the animals out, but that did not work, so they borrowed a roof rake from a neighbor and got the babies out of the barn. The parents soon followed.
All the animals appear to be OK, but one might have gone a veterinarian.
Route 66 was closed on the Columbia and Willimantic town line because of the fire, but has since reopened.
Area fire departments were also called for mutual aid.
The investigation into the fire and the source of several explosions heard continues.