More than a dozen cattle killed in raging Mapleton barn fire
A massive barn fire in Mapleton on Saturday night killed 19 cows.
Firefighters were called to the farm on Wellington Road 11 near Conestogo Lake Conservation Area just before 9 p.m.
Officials say the farmer was using cutting torches to thaw frozen pipes when nearby hay and shredded cardboard ignited.
He quickly dialed 911, and managed to lead several of his horses and cows to safety.
“There were 19 cattle and some horses [left] in the barn,” says Rick Richardson, fire chief for Mapleton Township. “The horses were saved; the cattle [were] not saved.”
Forty volunteer firefighters from several detachments responded to the call, but CTV News is told the barn was reduced to a pile of rubble within minutes of their arrival.
Officials say because there are no fire hydrants in the area, water had to be brought in using tanker trucks.
That, combined with the chilly temperatures, made battling the blaze particularly challenging.
Fortunately, no one was injured in the fire.
On Sunday morning, fire crews were back on the job at a house fire just ten minutes away in Wellesley Township.
Officials tell CTV News an elderly woman with an oxygen tank had to be rescued.
“One of the occupants was still in the house,” says Andrew Lillico, fire chief for Wellesley Township. “Fire crews assisted that individual in evacuating.”
He adds the fire was contained to the attached sunroom where it started, and believes an electrical shortage may have sparked the flames.
“Crews did an excellent job and used the thermal imaging camera to check for extension and make sure that the fire was out,” Lillico.
Officials are pegging damages at $50,000.