A devastating fire broke out near Arthur on a Saturday afternoon, leading to the demise of several cattle, as per statements from local fire officials. The barn, which was the epicenter of the tragedy, was home to around 300 beef cattle according to Deputy Chief Callise Loos from the Wellington North Fire Services. The official headcount of casualties remains imprecise at this point.
Various fire stations sprung into action, responding to the alarming situation at 4 p.m. on Line 12 sandwiched between Sideroad 3 and Wellington Road 14. Loos provided reassurances that there were no human casualties among either the residents or the emergency personnel who responded to the scene.
In his statements, Chris Harrow, who serves as the director of fire services for Wellington North and Minto, expressed that the barn had the capacity to house over 400 cattle. Given the enormous capacity of the barn, Harrow projected a significant loss, though he could not precisely ascertain the number of dead cattle. Harrow suspected the casualties could well surpass a hundred.
Amid the chaos, local neighbours played a heroic role, rushing in to help the cattle escape to safety. Recalling the terrible sight, Harrow disclosed that they were initially alerted to smoke and potential flames originating from the barn. Upon arrival of the first unit from the Mount Forest station, the smoke had become more pronounced, rapidly followed by fierce flames breaching the barn’s roof.
Investigation suggests that the fire commenced in the hay loft. Harrow described the harrowing progression of events as within just ten minutes of their arrival, one corner of the building collapsed, quickly followed by the rest of the structure.
While a specific amount could not be determined, Harrow estimated that the cost resultant from the damages could well rise into the millions. Despite the catastrophe, Harrow found solace in the fact that there were no human casualties. “We’re deeming it an accidental cause,” he explained, reiterating his gratitude for the absence of injuries to residents or firefighters, calling it a significant silver lining amidst a tragic event.