Updated 8:50 p.m.
One lamb died, while two horses, several dogs and a couple of other lambs survived a three-story barn fire on Ram Isand Wednesday, Mystic Fire Department Deputy Chief Anthony Manfredi, Jr. said.
The animals live on the island and use the barn for shelter, Manfredi said. They were outside, except for the lamb, when firefighters arrived.
Manfredi said the barn, about 30 feet by 60 feet, had collapsed and was burning on the ground.
"It was fully involved on our arrival," he said.
A plane flying overhead reported the smoke to emergency dispatchers at 3:07 p.m.
The Mystic Fire Department used Mystic Marine One, the new fireboat, to reach the island. Manfredi said the biggest challenge was the location of the barn, which was about 450 to 500 feet from the shore.
"We had to stretch hand lines to reach the fire, it was kind of in the middle of the island," he said. Manfredi said the biggest challenge was the distance from the fire. Firefighters stretched 2 and 1/2 inch hose lines to reach the barn.
John Ragsdale and his family own the barn and a house, a seasonal residence on the island. The house is a good distance from the barn, but Manfredi said firefighters still wanted to ensure that the fire would not travel.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, Manfredi said.
Updated: 5:04 p.m.: The Mystic Fire Department continues to battle a structure fire on Ram Island. A barn on the island caught fire around 3:30 p.m., on Wednesday. The island is only accessible by boat and the Mystic Fire Department is in the process of bringing additional water hoses to the island.
The Mystic Fire Department initially responded to the fire with the regional fire boat. The Noank Fire Department and Mystic River Ambulance also responded and were on stand-by at the Ram Island Yacht Club in Noank.
Witnesses reported seeing smoke from afar away as Groton Long Point and Fitch High School in Groton, but said smoke was no longer visible from shore around 5 p.m.
Updated: 4:15 p.m.: The Mystic Fire Department has confirmed a structure fire on Ram Island is a barn fire.
3:57 p.m.: Emergency personnel including the Mystic Fire and Noank Fire Departments are responding to a structure fire on Ram Island. The fire was reported around 3:30 p.m.
Mystic River Ambulance and the Noank Fire Department are at the Ram Island Yacht Club in Noank in case help is needed. The Mystic Fire Department responded to the fire with the regional fire boat and according to early reports the structure fire is only accessible by boat.
Check back with Patch for updates.