Cattle lives saved in four alarm fire


South Dundas Fire and Emergency Services has been hard at work this past week.

Thurler Farm

A fire at the Thurler Farm on  Snowbird Road was called in at 2:50 p.m. on November 11th. The first vehicle responded within three minutes of the call. Chief Chris McDonough was on the scene by 3:18 p.m.

According to McDonough, all three stations – Iroquois, Morrisburg, and Williamsburg – responded. In addition, McDonough also called in the South Mountain Fire Department.

McDonough told the Leader that “an off-duty fire fighter from Williamsburg drove directly” to the Thurler Farm.

Two coveralls used to cover the straw supply, tied down using tires, were on fire. Fire fighters went straight to work putting out these fires while also trying to eliminate the exposure to the barn, which held 500 head of dairy cattle.

The dairy barn and all cattle were saved thanks to the efforts of the fire fighters and mother nature. The chief said the strong wind blowing in the opposite direction was a great help to fire fighters in saving this barn.

Fire fighters were on location until 6 a.m. November 12th. They were called back in November 13th to put out more “hot spots.” McDonough said they were back for five hours putting out those fires.

In the end, the damage included 600 acres worth of crop. McDonough estimated the damage to be in the $220,000 range. No one was harmed in the fire.

As for the cause of the fire, “there was a lot of fire damage and there was nothing really we could go by.”

It is thought that a skid steer, which is “a piece of equipment used to supply straw bedding for the dairy barn,” created sparks “from the bucket scraping against the concrete.”

“I’m suspecting that. I’m not confirming that,” emphasized McDonough.

“We had help from Ault’s squatter tankers. We couldn’t keep up because we were taking up so much water,” including the entirety of Matilda’s water supply.

McDonough also mentioned the abundance of generosity: “The wives made sandwiches. The Thurlers ordered in pizza.”

12756 County Road 18

November 14th, at approximately three o’clock in the morning, a house fire was reported on County Road 18 just east of Williamsburg.

McDonough said it was a “coach house attached to an old farmhouse.”

“They extinguished the fire as soon as they got there.”

In terms of damage, McDonough said the “exterior and up to the roof line” was damaged. He estimated the damage to be “not more than $1,000.”

Again, no one was physically harmed in the fire.

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