A fire at a farm in St-Hugues, located 75 kilometres east of Montreal, has claimed 300 calves and left two barns in ruins.

The fire broke out around 11:30 p.m. on Monday at the farm located on Rang Bourgchemin West. 

The fire had already spread throughout the buildings by the time firefighters arrived.

"The roof had already collapsed and there was nothing we could do for the animals," said Michel Bastien, the fire chief for St-Hugues and St-Barnabé South.

Bastien said all firefighters could do was secure the area by removing propane tanks and ensuring the flames didn't spread to the farmhouse.

St-Hugues

St-Hugues fire chief Michel Bastien said there was nothing they could do for the animals by the time they arrived on scene. (CBC)

Fire officials believe the fire started in a large ventilation system behind one of the buildings. 

Bastien told Radio-Canada that barns such as these are often not equipped with smoke and heat detectors.