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Barn fire near Arthur kills cattle, collapses building

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Fire officials say cattle have died following a barn fire near Arthur on Saturday afternoon.

In an email to CTV News, Wellington North Fire Services Deputy Chief Callise Loos said the barn housed about 300 beef cattle, and some cattle died, but it's too early to tell how many at this point.

Several stations responded to the fire around 4 p.m. on Line 12 between Sideroad 3 and Wellington Road 14 near Arthur.

No human injuries were reported to occupants or emergency personnel, Loos added.

Chris Harrow, director of fire services for Wellington North and Minto, said the barn could hold over 400 cattle.

According to Harrow, the loss could be significant, but the number of cattle that died is unknown at this time.

“We’re not sure how many got out, but we’re expecting it to be over 100 at least that perished in this fire,” Harrow said.

Harrow added that neighbours helped to get cattle out and to safety.

“We were called to smoke and possible flames coming from a barn, upon our arrival with our first crew out of the Mount Forest station we found the heavy smoke coming form the barn, and shortly thereafter the flames coming through the roof,” Harrow said

Officials believe the flames started in the hay loft. Within 10 minutes of their arrival, Harrow said the building collapsed in one corner, and shortly after that the entire building collapsed.

"Upon our arrival with our first crew at our Mount Forest station, we found the heavy smoke coming from the barn and shortly thereafter flames through the roof," he said. “We’re not sure at this time on the numbers that were lost.,”

Harrow estimates the cost in damages is set to be in the millions but could not provide a specific amount.

"So, we're going to be deeming it an accidental cause," he explained. "Thankful no injuries to residents or firefighters...so we're very fortunate that way."

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