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The two farm grain for a living, and Susan Standish said her husband enjoys keeping chickens as well as ducks. They had a barn fire about five years ago, but not on the scale of Tuesday's.
"After we lost them years ago, we got even more and built a bigger barn," Susan Standish said.
There were no injuries aside from the ducks and chickens. The cause was undetermined Tuesday, Bradbury said.
"It’s pretty devastating,” Susan Standish said. “We’re both in our 70s. I don’t think we’re going to try this again.”
She said the couple enjoyed staying active into their 70s because they did not want to "stop," despite their children telling them otherwise.
McHenry County Sheriff's deputies were at the scene investigating Tuesday.
Firefighters likely would need to return to extinguish the hay, which continued to smolder, Bradbury said.
Firefighters from Woodstock, Capron, Union and Harvard units assisted Marengo at the scene.