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Large fire destroys barn near Mount Forest

Barn destroyed - A barn east of Mount Forest (on Concession 8, south of Highway 89) was destroyed by fire on Oct. 9. Officials say the blaze, which caused about $1.5 million in damage, is not being treated as suspicious. The likely cause of the fire is electrical failure.  Submitted photo

Large fire destroys barn near Mount Forest

by Aryn Strickland

WELLINGTON NORTH - A large barn fire east of Mount Forest on Tuesday night caused about $1.5 million in damages.

The 75-by-100 foot barn on Concession 8 was destroyed, but there were no injuries reported and no livestock lost in the blaze.

The call came in to Wellington North Fire Services at about 10:45pm on Oct. 9.

When firefighters arrived the dairy barn, located south of Highway 89, was already consumed.

“The building was fully engulfed when we arrived,” said Wellington North Fire Chief Dave Guilbault. “The flames were probably 30 feet in the air.”

Without any hydrants near the long laneway, a total of seven fire stations helped battle the blaze: Ayton, Dundalk, Grand Valley, Palmerston, Harriston, Arthur and Mount Forest.

When the first crew arrived the owner of the property had removed all 75 head of cattle from the barn and locked the door.

Neighbours on either side of the property then collected the cattle and took them to safety.

OPP and EMS services were also on the scene, though no injuries were sustained in the fire.

Guilbault thanked the OPP for helping with traffic control for the crowd that gathered at the beginning of the night.

It was close to 10 hours before the fire was put out and fire crews left the property.

The dairy barn was destroyed and a couple silos received minimal damage. Guilbault says the owners were grateful the outcome wasn’t worse.

“The crews did an excellent job of keeping the fire to the barn and not the grain bin that is almost attached to the barn,” he said.

The office of the Ontario Fire Marshall was notified due to the large damage estimate, but has decided to leave the investigation to the Wellington North Fire Service.

Guilbault was with the Wellington North fire investigator at the property on Wednesday morning when he spoke to the Advertiser.

“At this stage, there are still a few hot spots; we are dealing with those,” he said.

He added that due to the size of the structure collapse,  there is no way fire officials can access the rubble to definitively determine the cause of the fire.

However, through interviews with witnesses Guilbault said the cause was likely electrical and the fire  is not being treated as suspicious.

October 12, 2018


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