The Olivet FFA is accepting donations to help rebuild the barn. Checks can be mailed to Olivet FFA at 225 First Street, Olivet, MI 49076.
A fire broke out early Tuesday morning at a barn located on the campus of Olivet High School. The barn was a home for animals used in the school's agricultural FFA program.
There were 11 hogs, 5 dairy starter cows, and 2 full-sized steers in the barn at the time of the fire. All of the animals were killed.
Eaton County Sheriff's officials say fire crews responded to the fire at 2:30 a.m. By the time they arrived, the barn was fully engulfed in flames. Investigators believe an animal may have knocked over a heat lamp, starting the fire.
John Minnard, Alumni President for the Olivet FFA, has 3 children who have participated in the program. He says students prepare the animals for show at the Eaton County Fair in July. "They're almost like pets. They even hate to see them go at fair, but they understand what they're going for."
People turned out Tuesday afternoon to see the damage for themselves. Lauren Pugh, a Senior at Olivet High School says she's amazed at the damage. "I know that this is going to be a huge hit for everybody not just financially but emotionally and in the long run, I think it will bring everybody closer, building it back up again, but it's just devastating."
The Olivet FFA is seeking assistance to rebuild it's barn from the National and State FFA chapters. A Go-Fund-Me Account has also been set up for donations. Loren Griffin, Maintenance and Custodial for Olivet Community Schools helped build the 3 year-old barn. "Anybody out there that can find in their heart to help out, be more than happy to have those people step forward and help out in anyway they can."