Barn fire kills animals, devastates Adams County family of four

A single chicken is all that survived of the family’s animals.
Adams County family loses home, barn animals to fire
Updated: Jan. 29, 2021 at 9:07 PM EST
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ADAMS COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - A Tri-State family is piecing their lives back together after a fire destroyed their home, barn and several of their animals, including a young calf.

The fire started just before 1 a.m. Thursday.

James Hensley and his fiancée were alerted to the fire when he says they smelled something burning. Hensley then went to check on the barn.

“As I was walking through there, I saw that shed back there engulfed in flames,” he said.

Hensley kicked the door open to let the barn animals out, but he says that only made the fire worse.

“I guess the oxygen just fed it and, you know, it just came out,” he recalled. “As soon as that happened, I ran back inside, grabbed the youngest one, grabbed the 3-year-old.”

A single chicken is all that survived of the family’s barn animals.

The fire then spread to the house. Hensley says it’s a miracle they got their two children out ok.

“I was too worried about getting them out of the house to be scared,” he said.

The reality of what they lost — and what they were able to save — has since set in.

“Upstairs is completely burnt to a crisp,” he said. “That pack and play he was laying in is completely burnt, and all I could think is, ‘My baby was lying there.’ I just thank God [my fiancée] and I were awake.”

A GoFundMe fundraising page has been created for the family.

They don’t yet know what caused the fire.

Hensley says they have only a few changes of clothes.

“It’s kind of hitting me harder that everything we own is gone,” he said. “Our house is gone.”

Hensley and his fiancée are supposed to get married in September. She lost her wedding dress in the blaze.

He adds he hasn’t been able to sleep since he saw his home on fire.

“I kind of dozed off for five minutes last night,” he said. “The second I doze off, I have a dream that I pull up in my driveway and my house is on fire and my kids were in the house and I couldn’t get them out. That’s all I could think of… how many ways it could have went than it did.”

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