A barn south of Somonauk and just west of Lake Holiday burned Sunday night in the 2400 block of N. 46th Road.
According to the Somonauk Community Fire Protection District, when firefighters arrived around 10:20, the barn was already fully engulfed. High winds fanned the flames and created problems with embers spreading. Firefighters described the rain as feeling like razor blades because it was coming down so hard.
The barn housed chickens. It's unclear how many died in the fire because some may have escaped. A nearby house sustained minor heat damage. No one else was hurt.
Some other nearby fire departments were not able to respond for mutual aid because of other storm related calls. Additionally, some departments had to be diverted away from the barn fire to respond to downed wires and a fence fire on Linda Lane in Lake Holiday.
Somonauk firefighters returned on Wednesday because some smoldering straw caught on fire.
The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. The damage is estimated at $300,000.
The fire protection district says Sunday's fire is the second within year. On July 5 last year, another large barn burned. The fire was caused by careless use of fireworks.
Fire Chief Pat Colford said that such barns are considered an endangered species and each one that is destroyed is a loss to the community's agricultural heritage.