Dairy: Barn fires – an increasing cause for concern

When their barn burned down in April, the Howes of Vankleek Hill lost half their dairy herd and much of their equipment. Once started, fires are difficult to control, says the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office, and prevention is the key


With the help of neighbours and passersby, the Howes family of Vankleek Hill saved half of their 175 animal dairy herd when their barn burned down in April.

Just after Leonard Howes’ son, Mark, called 911 on the afternoon of April 10, people started arriving to help get cows out of the 13-year-old, tie-stall barn. The team of helpers rescued 95 animals, but 80 died in the fire. Afterwards, 10 of the rescued animals had to be shipped because of injuries.

Better Farming - June/July 2010