Cows Perish in Barn Blaze in N.Y.

Aug. 30--MOIRA -- About 30 cows perished and four firefighters were injured in a fire that leveled a large barn at 98 Alburg Road.

The cause was found to be electrical and the fire to have started near hot water heater or exhaust fan, said Moira Volunteer Fire Department Chief Timothy Trimm.

Farm owner Craig Tucker's property was struck by lightning last week, Trimm said, and some appliances in his home were affected.

"Whether that did some damage (to the barn) at that time who knows," he said.

Four firefighters sustained injuries, Trimm said.

Three were treated at the fire site and one went to the hospital via private vehicle.

One firefighter's injury was heat-related, one sustained a cut to his hand, one was hit with a deck gun which resulted in a minor head injury and Trimm suspected he may have broken a rib when he fell.


The call was dispatched at about 1:15 p.m.

"He (Tucker) was at the other end of the barn and one of the workers hollered at him that the milk house was on fire."

Trimm said he could see the smoke from a mile and a half away as he was approaching the property.

"A portion of the roof on the front side was already glowing red when we pulled in."

While around 30 cows died, Tucker was able to get some of his other cows out of the burning structure to safety, Trimm said.

"They were working on getting the cows out when we got there and they gave up on it."

The number of cows saved was unknown Friday.

Some of the cows that died were dairy cows and others were heifers, Trimm said.


The barn was approximately 150-foot long by 30-foot wide, Trimm said.

It was at least half-full of hay, which helped fuel the flames, Trimm said.

Crews were able to keep the fire contained to the barn and it didn't spread to the equipment repair shed about 20 feet from the barn or Tucker's house, which is about 200 feet from the barn, he said.

Tucker has insurance and told Trimm he plans to rebuild, the chief said.

Thirteen departments from two counties responded as mutual aid: Dickinson, Brushton, Bombay, Bangor, St. Regis Falls, Duane, Fort Covington, Westville, Malone, Hogansburg/Akwesasne from Franklin County and Nicholville, North Lawrence and Lawrenceville from St. Lawrence County.

The Moira Volunteer Fire Department was back in service at around 10 p.m.

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