Fire in St-Mathias-Sur-Richelieu Kills 160 Cows

Fire in St-Mathias-Sur-Richelieu Kills 160 Cows

A dairy farm in St-Mathias-Sur-Richelieu was heavily damaged by a fire early Sunday morning.

Firefighters received a call just before 4:30 a.m. Upon arriving at the farm, they found two buildings, which housed cows, in flames.

Christine Aubin, wife of the owner, said she, her husband are the fourth generation to run the family farm. They were able to salvage some equipment once they arrived, but the fire was too intense to rescue the majority of the livestock.

“I was making scenarios in my head, I was thinking ‘Oh, I’m going to open the door to let the cows out.’ But when I was coming with my car, it was all black, I was saying to myself ‘Oh no, that’s the end,’” she said. “When we arrived there was too much fire everywhere, we couldn’t go inside.”

The farm is insured and she said the family is hopeful they will be able to rebuild.

The damage caused by the fire is estimated at $2 million.

“There was a plume of black smoke which was visible for kilometres around,” said Martin Gougeon, deputy director for emergency services in Richelieu. “You could see the sky lit by the fire.”

Firefighters have ruled out any criminal activity but are still investigating the cause of blaze.

The farm was home to 167 cows. Aubin said that while 14 did escape, they were forced to euthanize seven of them due to the severity of their injuries and it’s unclear how many of the remaining seven will survive.

“They have a lot of wounds from the burning,” she said. “We’re putting water on them so it doesn’t hurt and we gave them some penicillin.”

Annie Daigneault, a veterinarian who is also the farm owner’s daughter, said the surviving cows are at a neighbour’s farm.

“They are burned, a little bit, but their lungs are okay,” she said.

Source – Montreal CTV News


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