The cause of the Dec. 28 fire at Dandelion Acres will probably remain unknown, said owner Linda Price-Albers.
Price-Albers and her husband, Steve Albers, lost two alpacas and a young cashmere goat in the fire, as well as their barn and everything in it.
"It was very, very upsetting," she said.
The couple's power generation plant burned up and they're off-the-grid, so their property no longer has heat, electricity or water. But the animals are still there, and Price-Albers said Thursday they were going to move them into the greenhouse for the rest of the winter. But her husband has already begun the permitting process, because come spring, the greenhouse has a different use.
"We need to use it for planting," she said.
Price-Albers said the fire took more than just the animals and the barn -- hay, grain, halters, water buckets, tools and more were lost in the fire. The Albers' also had a year of fleece stored in the structure that was lost to flames. And their generation plant included two generators and a dump truck, in addition to the heat and water systems.
Fortunately, a few things were saved: the animals that escaped or were rescued, and a backhoe that the firemen helped Steve Albers move so it wouldn't be engulfed in flames. And because they weren't home, they didn't get hurt.
"There's a lot to be thankful for in the midst of all the rubble," Price-Albers said.
Price-Albers and her husband were still in the process of building on their property, so it was uninsured, she said. She said the cause is pretty much a mystery. They had been gone for about 20 minutes when a neighbor called about the fire, so it happened quickly. The design of their generation system had set those components apart from the rest of the structure to try and prevent a fire. But it could have been some part of the system or storage batteries, she said.
An account at Wells Fargo was set up for donations in Linda and Steve Albers name.
Molly Dischner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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