Southington barn burns to ground

SOUTHINGTON – If it weren’t warm out, John Kline’s retired hunt horse, pony and miniature donkey might have been lost along with his barn that burned to the ground late Tuesday afternoon.

Southington, Champion, Farmington and Warren Township fire departments arrived at Kline’s home in the 3000 block of Hoffman Norton Road about 4 p.m. after a neighbor called saying that the barn was on fire with animals inside.

Luckily, Kline said, his animals were outside – they only come into the barn to eat and when the weather is inclement.

Southington fire Capt. Scott Bower said they think the fire might have been caused by a lawn mower, but this had yet to be determined.

“It was a total loss prior to us getting here,” Bower said.

Kline, who has lived at the location for the past 20 years, said an antique tractor and horse feed were lost along with the structure.

His animals, which he dubbed “just yard art,” were all safe in a nearby field, with the exception of a cat, which he had yet to locate. He speculated the cat may have run into the woods.