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Riceville Dairy Farmer “Why Me?” After the Second Fire in 3 Years
July 27, 2016

Chris Ryan has one question, “I’ve been shaking my head quite a bit lately wondering why the hell is it happening to me?”

You can’t blame him after the second fire in three years ripped through a barn on his family dairy farm in the rural community of Riceville, Ontario, about an hour east of Ottawa.

The latest blaze happened Saturday night, destroying the barn and killing 57 milking cows – almost the entire herd.

The Ryans were away on vacation. A neighbour spotted the flames and called 911. By the time firefighters arrived it was already too late. “Unfortunately this barn, when we showed up, was see-through, and fully-involved in fire,” says The Nation Fire Chief, Tobias Hovey.

Two days later, Chris Ryan can’t quite face the loss of his herd. “I haven’t been able to go back to the farm yet. It’s still something that’s sinking in. It’s hard to accept,” he says.

Dairy farming is a way of life for the Ryans. Ryandale Farm was founded almost 156 years ago, and has been in the family for generations. The loss of his herd hits hard. “Those cows, they were babies for us too, and my daughter loved them.”

In a cruel coincidence, a different barn about a kilometre away on another part of the farm burned down three years ago. It’s the barn that housed Ryan’s breeding stock. He suffered third degree burns trying to save those animals.

The latest blaze couldn’t have happened at a worse time. The Ryans are expecting their second child in two months.

Chris Ryan says they have insurance, but it likely won’t cover all his losses. Family and friends have also started a fundraising page to help the young family rebound from this latest setback.

The cause of the latest blaze has yet to be determined.

Source – CTV News Ottawa



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