(update 11:57-a.m. 12-15-11) Woman reportedly badly burned 3 animals die in vehicle fire


December 14th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

In an update to a story we reported on Wednesday, the Iowa State Patrol says a Nevada woman suffered burns to her hands when the vehicle she was driving caught fire as it was traveling east on Interstate 80 in Cass County. Sgt. Martin McCreedy with the State Patrol’s District 3 office in Council Bluffs, told KJAN News the driver of a 2001 Subaru 4-door wagon, Lori Barrington was transporting several animals in her vehicle, when the flames broke out at around 11:40-a.m., Wednesday.

The Cass County Communications Center received calls about the vehicle being on-fire, with the driver apparrently unaware of what was happening. Barrington did eventually notice the flames. She pulled-over near the Wiota exit (64-mile marker), and was trying to get the animals out, when she was burned. Sgt. McCreedy says some of the animals also suffered burns. The animals were transported to the Audubon-Manning Veterinary Clinic Audubon.

Dr. Kate Hoffman, DVM at the Vet Center, says two cats and a bird died in the fire. A second cat suffered suffered some burns but was in stable condition. Another cat, and a dog were in shock, but reported to be in good condition. Barrington was transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic. A report on her condition is not available.

When authorities arrived on the scene, the vehicle was fully engulfed in flames, and was a total loss. The Iowa DOT said eastbound I-80 was blocked while the vehicle was on-fire, while the left-hand lane of I-80 westbound was blocked by emergency equipment. The road was re-opened to traffic about an hour after emergency personnel arrived on the scene.