Flames tore through the Fauquier Livestock Exchange Monday night, killing at least five cows and destroying part of the local landmark.
The fire started at about 8 p.m. Monday inside the single-story barn off of John Marshall Highway in Marshall, Va. According to fire officials, between 200 and 250 cattle were inside the barn at the time. Crews were able to get the majority of the cattle out of the structure, but at least five were killed. That number however is much lower than the original estimate of about 50.
It’s unclear what sparked the massive three-alarm blaze.
"The cause is still under investigation. We’re not 100 percent sure," said Brian Lichty, Fauquier County Fire Battalion Chief.
One firefighter sustained minor injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital. He was treated and released.
Investigators remained on the scene throughout the night. They will spend Tuesday trying to determine a cause.