Cashion community devastated after Ag barn catches fire, killing animals

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CASHION, Okla. - The community of Cashion is devastated after the high school's Ag barn went up in flames over the weekend.

All five animals that were in the barn didn't make it, but the school has already received donations from all across the country to rebuild.

"It was just heartbreaking to see and know that you could do nothing. You just had to sit by and watch this building burn and there was nothing that you could do," said Cashion High School FFA President Keegan Hertensen.

Hertensen lost her hog, sheep and goat in the barn fire on Saturday. She's put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into taking care of her animals, and she says in the midst of this tragedy, she knows it's a bond that's never broken.

"At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how I do in a show, it just matters the bond that I make with these animals," Hertensen said.

She was at home with her family just a couple miles away when she heard the barn was on fire.

"I didn't even analyze what was going on. So many things were running through my head," she said.

Stephanie Payne, the Ag instructor at Cashion, says the students spend almost all of their free time at the barn and this program means so much to them. They're still in shock.

"You think that`s never going to happen, it's fine, and then it happens and it's devastating," Payne said.

But, Payne believes this is going to make them stronger in the long run.

"We took a day and we grieved and now we are going to pick ourselves back up and we're going to figure out what the next steps are," Payne said.

The news spread on social media quickly, which brought in tons of donations to the school and program.

Hertensen says someone has already offered to replace her goat and sheep, along with the other animals that were in the barn so the students can continue to do what they love.

"It's so amazing to see the support that everybody has given us," said Hertensen. "It shows that there's still good in this world and it shows that one little chapter, even if something happens, this whole organization has our back and it`s so comforting."

Officials say the fire is believed to be caused by an electrical issue.

Cashion Public Schools will be accepting donations. They can be made at the main office of the school at 101 N Euclid St, Cashion, OK 73016 during normal hours or the Cashion Bank in reference to Cashion FFA.

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