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By JANNAYA ANDREWS
The Bluffton Fire Department was dispatched at 10:44 a.m. Friday to a barn fire at 4758 E 500 N near Craigville.
A spokesman for the department said the structure was completely engulfed upon arrival and additional fire crews from Preble and Ossian were called in an attempt to help save the structure and any animals that may have been trapped inside.
According to Bluffton Fire Chief Bob Plumber, the homeowner, who was not identified, had recently returned home and had not noticed anything unusual.
Plumber said it is unclear how much time had passed before what is believed to be passersby noticed the fire and called for assistance.
When fire crews arrived, Plumber said a pair of unidentified men were inside the barn trying to free the horses trapped inside.
As of 1 p.m. Friday, firefighters were still on the scene and there had been no reported injuries; however, the fate of the horses inside the barn was unknown, according to officials.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.