Fire kills dozens of goats in Shelby County, devastates owner

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SHELBYVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - An overnight barn fire on Zaring Mill Road in Shelbyville left dozens of goats dead.

Their owner woke up to flames so hot, they busted out the back windows of her home. Fire officials say the smoke could be seen miles away.

Close to 60 goats were killed, leaving their owner's business devastated.

"When I was going to the door I saw this huge ball of fire in the back and saw my barn was totally engulfed in flames," says Kathy Mejia, who owned the goats.

The fire started while Mejia was sleeping. It wasn't until she heard a knock at her door around 6:00 Saturday morning that she realized what had happened.

"I couldn't get to the barn to get to the girls," Mejia sobs. "All I could get out were the boys on this one end and we lost about five of them."

Mejia was able to save about a dozen of her billy goats, but lost around 55 of her female and baby goats. A devastating loss not only because her goats had become more like family, but also because it's how she made a living.

"We would take the milk and, besides drinking it and cooking with it, would make soap and cheese and that was our business," she explains. "That's how we get by. I have a daughter that's disabled and we have to work from home."

A business that, until now, had been growing for years. Just last week, Mejia welcomed the birth of some new goats.

"The temperatures got in the 30's last night and they have to have the light, so we had to do it. To try and protect them."

Investigators believe the fire started with heat lamps that were too close to hay. They've ruled it accidental.

The family is working on setting up a fund for donations.

This fire comes just a day after another fire in Shelby County killed two horses.

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