Police have ruled out arson as the cause of a barn fire on Kossuth Road east of the Waterloo airport Tuesday afternoon.
Ten horses, three dogs and a pig died in the fire, which destroyed the two-storey barn. The horses in the barn were recovery horses, scheduled to go to the slaughterhouse but rescued instead.
Police spokesperson Olaf Heinzel said Thursday that police investigators aren’t considering the fire suspicious.
“From a police perspective, we don’t believe there’s any reason to believe there was any criminal activity or criminal offenses committed,” he said.
The fire was reported around 1:20 p.m. by tenants living in the adjacent house. By the time firefighters arrived on the scene, the barn had partially collapsed. Shortly after, a 45-gallon drum containing motor oil exploded, sending a cloud of black smoke into the air.
The strong west wind carried burning embers across to a nearby field, starting a grass fire that blackened 10 acres and spread into a wooded area.
“That was our main concern, that the wind was so strong it was accelerating the burn quickly,” said Woolwich Township fire chief Rick Pedersen.
Crews from Maryhill, St. Jacobs and Conestogo stations responded to the blaze, and Cambridge was asked to assist with their pumper truck. Police closed off a section of Kossuth Road between Chiligo Road and Hwy. 24 while tankers carried water to the fire.
Firefighters were on the scene for about six hours and police stayed overnight to monitor the scene.
The property is owned by Santokh Judge, care of Sellter Industries of Cambridge. Damage was estimated at approximately $125,000.