A Maryhill dairy farmer faces a major rebuild following a fire over the weekend that destroyed a barn and killed about a third of his heifers. Damage was estimated at more than $500,000.
Some 50 Woolwich firefighters were called out just after 9 p.m. on Saturday night. On arrival, they found one of the buildings at 1025 Maryhill Rd. completely engulfed in flames.
The fire in full force, crews set about keeping it from spreading to nearby structures, explained Woolwich fire chief Rick Pedersen.
“It was an old bank barn that was totally involved in flames when they got there. They had crews from Maryhill, Breslau, Conestogo and St. Jacobs. There were four tankers pulling water from Maryhill and Breslau,” he said. “It was quite a crew. We had seven trucks there and it looks like 50 firefighters.”
Crews were on the scene for more than six hours, making sure the fire didn’t spread and do more damage. The cause of the fire is still unknown.
“There was lots of hay and straw, and I think there were 45 heifer cows that were lost,” said Pedersen. “Right now, the cause is hard to say. The insurance people were there looking at it, but it is almost impossible to pinpoint the origin, or cause.
“They had a fairly new milking barn that had 100 head of cattle in it, and the fire broke the windows on that. The main thing for the firefighters when they got there was to limit the exposure from the fire. They wrote off the involved barn, and they were just trying to protect the shed and the milking barn.”
A few firefighters remained on scene the following day to ensure none of the smoldering embers reignited.