Firefighters save barn, cattle early Sunday

Colin MacLean
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PLEASANT VALLEY — Firefighters managed to avert disaster early Sunday morning at a farm in Pleasant Valley.

Firefighters responded early Sunday morning to a fire at Weeks Holstein in Pleasant Valley.

Kensington Fire Chief Allan Sudsbury said a fire call came in about 12:30 a.m.

Because of the weekend storm firefighters had to co-ordinate with snow- clearing crews from the Department of Transportation in order to reach the farm.

When they arrived, firefighter found a fire burning in the centre of a large barn at Weeks Holstein housing about 35 cattle.

Firefighters managed to extinguish the blaze before it could spread, but Sudsbury said they were lucky.


Given the blustery weather early Sunday morning and the amount of combustible material in the barn it's amazing the situation didn't spiral out of control, said the fire chief.

"It was a little slower trip than usual but we were able to get there. Other than that everything went well, all things considering," said Sudsbury. "It surprised me that we were able to catch it with the amount of wind we were dealing with.”

Fortunately, both the structure and the cattle escaped largely intact, though Sudsbury said a vet was being called in to examine the cattle for smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire is suspected to be a piece of equipment that malfunctioned and sparked some hay.

About 20 firemen from the Kensington Fire Department responded to the fire call. They were assisted by the New London Fire Department.

They were on the scene for about three hours.

Organizations: Department of Transportation, Kensington Fire Department, New London Fire Department

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Recent comments

  • Also a Dairy Farmer
    February 14, 2013 - 08:11

    Lucky for the Weeks family. anything like this is hard on the farmer and family alone, the thought of possibly loosing everything your working for.... not a fun experience, I also know this barn and it is a very clean place. Keep in mind this was 1230-1 am, when milking and chores usually happen first thing in the morning and evening... it isnt right to judge by a picture. Just because your an animal lover doesnt give you the right to judge someone else s business, you know we do have healthy and safety inspections and quality inspections and guideline that have to be followed, farmers are the number one people to be looking after animals, they wouldnt be doing that job if they didnt like the animals and didnt plan on looking after them..... if we didnt have the animals or live stock then we wouldnt have farmers...... then where would your meat and dairy and other products come from...... Please think about what you say before you insult a farmer, or their job or the lack there of in a time of need (such as this situation).... maybe you need to youtube the video "So God Made a Farmer" and then re think your views. and for everyone else out there who is also thinking about judging, step back and take a look at your own life before you open your mouth, your only doing it to make your self feel better, dont bring down the farmer, the hardest working and lowest paid people

  • Lori
    February 13, 2013 - 18:46

    The farm is in Springfield. Glad the damage wasn't as bad as it could have been. Don't judge or comment on my nighbours unless you you were there, have been in their barn and know the situation.

  • dairyfarmer
    February 11, 2013 - 20:18

    This is a good news story, seeing as the fire department saved the barn and cattle. To you "cow lover" are you a dairy farmer or just a cow lover? There is a difference you know..

  • Cow lover too
    February 11, 2013 - 20:02

    Very lucky to have turned out so well. To "Cow lover" you don't have any idea what you are talking about perhaps you are a cow lover but, are you a dairy farmer?. There's a difference! And if you were a farmer I would love to see how clean your cows are .

  • Bob Wayne
    February 11, 2013 - 18:43

    Considering the circumstances it's probly not the best time to judge a picture and I no this farm very well and it's quite clean. Why are people judging some one on a picture during a difficult time

  • Lucky
    February 11, 2013 - 15:30


  • Cow lover also
    February 11, 2013 - 15:10

    Okay first of all this is a good news story! We don't need people on here making comments about the cows and the cleanliness of the place. You might be a cow lover but , do you know anything about being a dairy farmer ? There is a difference!!

  • Cow lover also
    February 11, 2013 - 15:04

    It's great news that the fire got put out and it wasn't a complete loss for the farmer. As far as whether or not the cows are clean it's really not up to you to say. Also keep iñ mind that this happened through the night. Some people just can't say anything positive . You might be a cow lover but do you know anything about dairy farming? There's a difference

  • another cow lover
    February 11, 2013 - 14:48

    You say you love cows? You must not have visited many dairy or beef cow barns during the winter months... its a little harder to keep the cows rearends clean! lol You should visit some farms of all different sorts at different times of the year!! OH and don't forget "TO THANK A FARMER" every time you eat! Best of luck in the future for this farmer!

  • irishnannie
    February 10, 2013 - 20:25

    Must have been a living nightmare for the owners. Hope everything turns out well. Incredible that firefighters were able to get there before the fire got out of control.They deserve credit lots of credit.

    February 10, 2013 - 18:18

    It's good news that they got the fire out and saved both barn and cattle.TJudging bu the picture, these cattle seem to be covered in their own excrement.It doesn't appear to be the cleanest of places.

    • Islanddairyfarmer
      February 11, 2013 - 20:09

      The farm is a clean spot. Cows are kept clean and bedding everyday. Its not the owner/workers fault for the cows being dirty when they were new to the place and came from a different farm. So you should you learn the story behind it before bad mouthing about it.