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Barn fire in Wainfleet
June 9, 2014

A dairy barn filled with cattle at 43484 Case Rd. was reduced to a smoldering ruin in less than an hour, razed by fire Monday morning.

Wainfleet firefighters were call to the fire shortly before noon, later joined by firefighters from Haldimand and Port Colborne who assisted in extinguishing the blaze.

Owen Wohlsclagel described seeing “a mushroom cloud” of black smoke emanating from the barn at the dairy farm run by his cousin Stephen Marr, and drove to the barn to help.

By the time he arrived, he said the barn was already collapsing.

“There’s nothing left,” Wohlsclagel said.

As the fire spread throughout the building, workers at the family-run farm freed as many cows as possible.

The cattle, many with visible burns and injuries from the fire, wandered amongst the hundreds of acres of property surrounding the farm. Several farmers, with assistance from bystanders herded the cattle to a neighbour’s farm where they were corralled temporarily.

Niagara Regional Police spokesman Derek Watson said no injuries to people were reported as a result of the fire.

“It looks like there were cows all over the place that they were trying to corral,” Watson said while reading police reports about the blaze.

Wohlsclagel said some of the cattle had to be euthanized.

“That one is in bad shape,” he said, gesturing to one of the herd being led to the neighbouring farm across the road.

‪”A police officer came out and got his shotgun. I must have heard five or six shots,” Wohlsclagel added.‬

Niagara Regional Police Const. Rich Gadreau confirmed that police at the scene assisted the veterinarian to euthanize three animals for humane reasons.

“This was done at the request and under the direction of the veterinarian for the suffering animals,” Gadreau added.

Tanker trucks from Haldimand and Wainfleet trucked in water from the Wainfleet Arena to extinguish the flames, while the aerial truck from Port Colborne sprayed the remains of the fire from above.

While equipment from neighbouring communities left after the fire was primarily extinguished at about 3 p.m., Wainfleet firefighters remained at the scene for several more hours.

The total loss has yet to be determined.

Source: Welland Tribune


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