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Weekend barn fire in Wellington County kills over 200 cattle, causes millions in damage

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Wellington North Fire Service (WNFS) says over 200 cattle died following an accidental barn fire on Saturday afternoon in a rural community near Arthur.

Firefighters from multiple stations responded to the barn fire at a rural residence south of Conn – a small community just north of Arthur – on Saturday around 3:30 p.m.

Fire officials say an unknown number of cattle died in a barn fire near Arthur on Aug. 26, 2032. (Dan Lauckner/CTV News)

Around 60 firefighters from eight stations including Arthur, Mt. Forest, Clifford, Harriston, Palmerston, Shelburne, Dundalk and Grand Valley attended the fire.

“Upon arrival, there was heavy smoke and flames visible out of the second floor of the building,” WNFS said in a news release. “The building was a beef barn holding approximately 300 head of cattle.”

The building collapsed, and the estimated damages is between $2 and $3 million.

"The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental in nature, starting in hay that had been piled in the barn. The damage is estimated to be between two and three million dollars," WNFS said.

On Saturday, when speaking to CTV News Kitchener, Chris Harrow, director of fire services for Wellington North and Minto, said he expected the number of dead cattle to be over 100.

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.

Within 10 minutes of their arrival, Harrow said the building collapsed in one corner, and shortly after that the entire building collapsed.

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