A large livestock auction barn in Fayetteville was destroyed by a fire early Wednesday morning but no people or animals suffered injuries.
The Tennessee Livestock Producers Association — a service of the Tennessee Farm Bureau — owned the barn, which was used for a weekly livestock auctions as well as order buying.
Association general manager Darrell Ailshie said Wednesday the fire broke out shortly after midnight.
No one was working there at the time and the only animals were about 60 head of cattle in a pen not burned by the fire.
Ailshie said the barn handled about 45,000 animals per year at auction and another 50,000 in filling orders from feed lots and farmers who buy cattle to feed them for harvesting.
The facility served about 20 counties in southern Middle Tennessee and northern Alabama.
An office is being set up in the Farm Bureau building in Fayetteville to handle order buying and Ailshie said the association hopes to have temporary auction facilities set up soon after investigators conclude their work.
The company recently bought land about a mile west of the barn to build a new facility, but had just begun accepting bids to build it.
Ailshie said space heaters, which are often cited as the cause of fires in cold weather, weren’t used at the barn offices, which had central heat and air conditioning.
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