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Two dead in Provo barn fire, cause unknown

(Provo Fire and Rescue)

PROVO – A fast moving Provo barn fire killed two people along with a lot of animals and crews are still trying to pinpoint what caused it.

The blaze started around 1:30 this morning and the sounds of the sirens woke up the family living on the property.  As soon as Preston Arnoldsen saw the flames shooting out of the barn at Finch Family Farms, he and his uncle rushed out to clear the equipment away from the fire.  He says he’s never seen anything like it.

“The stalls were engulfed and the flames were climbing 50 to 60 feet high,” Arnoldsen says.

Arnoldsen states they went into the barn and rescued some of the animals.  He didn’t know that people were inside.

“I had no idea.  I knew there were many horses lost, and that was hard enough, but, finding out there was a person inside blew my mind,” he adds.

Investigators believe the fire started in one of the middle stalls, since that’s where the most damage happened.  When the fire sparked, it went up, fast.

Provo City Fire Captain Dean York says, “It’s a farm.  You have hay.  You have a lot of things that would help that fire grow pretty quickly.”

York can’t officially state what caused the fire.  However, he says it’s common for horse owners to come late at night to check on their animals, then bring grills to have cookouts in the barn.

“Including the two victims that have been found, we ended up having nine horses die in stalls, [along with] multiple goats and chickens,” he says.