Whenever I see a headline about a barn fire in Lancaster County I hold my breath and hope no animals were inside. 
The vast majority of barns and outbuildings on farms in Lancaster house animals: plow horses and buggy horses, cows, pigs, chickens and, in the heart of the commercial kennel industry, dogs.
A Christmas eve fire brought animal lovers' worst fears to life, destroying an outbuilding in Paradise Township that was used as a kennel.
Apparently a faulty heater "used to keep puppies warm" was to blame for the blaze at Espenshade and Cherry Hill roads, authorities told the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal.
Fire chief Patrick Cosgrove told the newspaper he didn't believe any animals died in the fire that engulfed the structure.
"When I arrived, they were carrying puppies out," Cosgrove said.

The state kennel database did not show a licensed kennel at this location. Under the 2008 dog law all licensed kennels must have smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. This provision was included in legislation to strengthen the state dog law after officials reported eight kennel fires in the previous year had killed "hundreds" of dogs.

A 2003 fire at a licensed kennel in Gap killed 60 dogs.
Sadly, fires are all too common on Amish and Mennonite-owned farms where families eschewing electricity use highly-flammable kerosene to heat their homes and outbuildings. These outbuildings are often used - legally and illegally - to house breeding dogs and puppies.
(Photo/Lancaster Intelligencer Journal/Drew Herr)