A number of animals were lost in a raging barn fire in the Whiting section of Manchester late Thursday morning. Township police said they received a 9-1-1 call at around 11:45 am that a barn was on fire behind 318 Beckerville Road. When officers arrived, the barn was engulfed in flames. They learned from the barn's owners that several animals were still inside.

Once the fire was extinguished, it was determined that at least three dogs, two goats and an unknown number of cats and chickens died in the blaze. But a horse that was inside the barn, escaped and was corralled by the owner at the rear of the property. The adjacent residence was also safely evacuated.

The Ocean County Fire Mashall's Office is investigating the cause of the fire but preliminary findings have determined the blaze to be non-suspicious.

The Whiting, Lakehurst, New Egypt, Ridgeway, Bamber Lakes, Cassville and Jackson Mills Volunteer Fire Departments helped put out the blaze. Also assisting where members of the Whiting Volunteer First Aid, Ocean County Sheriff's department, County Fire Marshall's office, Manchester Arson Investigations Bureau, Police and Township Animal Control Officer as well as the Detective Sergeant Larry Donato of the A.S.P.C.A.

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