PEI

46 cattle lost in dairy barn fire

Forty five cows and a calf died in a fire at a dairy farm in Alma, P.E.I., early Tuesday morning.

5 fire departments responded to the call

Firefighters were able to save two buildings close to the barn. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC)

Forty five cows and a calf died in a fire at a dairy farm in Alma, P.E.I., early Tuesday morning.

Another 10 cows were turned loose from a nearby barn and survived.

The fire was at the farm of Ivan and Wendell Dunbar. The two farmers have already been receiving calls with offers of help, including a farmer offering space for the surviving cows.

"Whenever there's trouble everybody gets together," said Wendell Dunbar.

Darrell Graham, deputy chief of the Alberton Fire Department, said the call came in from someone passing by just after 5 a.m.

Graham said half of the milking barn had already collapsed in on itself when the first fire truck arrived, and the cows were already dead.

"Your heart goes out to the farmer. It takes years to build up his dairy herd like that and then to see it wiped out in a matter of hours, it's very heartbreaking," said Graham.

Mutual aid was provided by 4 other fire departments, says Darrell Graham. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC)

Graham said it took an hour to knock down the fire, and another four to get it fully extinguished.

Fire departments from Tignish, Miminegash, O'Leary and West Point also attended. Firefighters were able to keep the fire away from two nearby buildings.

Graham said the Dunbars were waiting for the insurance adjuster to arrive when the firefighters were done. 

The fire marshal is on scene investigating.

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With files from Laura Chapin

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