800 cows killed in fire in Manitoba...how pathetic are the building requirements down there? - The Combine Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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800 cows killed in fire in Manitoba...how pathetic are the building requirements down there?

First heard about this the other day, thought someone else might post something on it...huge fire at a large 1000 cow dairy in Manitoba ends up with four connected barns all burnt and 800 cows killed, only 200 saved...and there was farm staff on site when this started?? WTF? Never mind how retarded to have structures of that magnitude all interconnected, where was the water supply for fire suppression?

I had a lot of dairy farm neighbors back home at Spruce Grove, nothing near this level of size, even some friends by Legal lost a barn a couple years ago, but they all had things set up to limit how a fire can spread and more, ie: either building separation or fire walls and other. And a water supply for fire fighting is required as in a dugout or such, even insurance requires it here. I know there are some dairy guys on here, how the **** is a setup of this size allowed to not incorporate some kind of fire walls or such when things all interconnected?

My biggest question is how they was only able to get 200 of the cows out, something just don't make sense with that. And supposedly they were expanding to 1700 head? Sounds like they had 800 more than they could handle already.



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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 03:36 PM
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Having the buildings all connected makes sense from a cow flow perspective (back and forth to the parlour 2-3 times a day). I could easily see how adding on here and there over the years would end up with varying levels of fire protection and building quality.

In our own case the oldest barn is from 1967, flat ceilings, all wood construction, would burn way too easy that I don't even want to think about it. We have moved most of the electrical out of the walls to surface mounted conduits to mitigate some of the risk.

Next oldest would be the parlour and bulk tank building with offices and change rooms from 97. More concrete and steel here, still lots of wood framing too, floor heat only, still a fair amount of in wall wiring, any extra work has been surface mounted.

"New" barn is from 2010, all concrete walls with integrated foam insulation, wood truss rafters. Honestly, if we would have a fire, it'd spread through the rafters and you'd only have half a chance to move cows out before all the plastic smoke got to be too much.

All in all, yeah, fire breaks in key areas make a ton of sense, but I honestly don't know what's required or not. A horrible situation to hear about either way, some of the pictures look like it was an absolutely raging fire late at night. No fun and very tragic, my sincere condolences to anyone affected. I have heard many times about cows wanting to go back in to a burning or smoky building when under stress and fear, apparently it can be quite a challenge to get cows to respond to new people in a crazy stressful situation like that.

Last edited by caroncrest; 08-13-2019 at 03:43 PM.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 04:15 PM
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Very bad news. I didn't think the barns were connected, but they were close enough that the fire jumped quickly, but that is just from initial reports. I have never had any animals on the farm when I was operating, but my dad was on the local volunteer fire department and had to attend several barn fires, from horses, pigs, dairy, and chickens. Several times he was told just to show up with the gun to shoot the animals running in and out of the barns. He did say the horses and cow are bad for running out and turning around and going back in. The pigs stay inside until they light on fire then come out like a rocket and head into the trees or grass and start everything else on fire. Usually by the time the fire department gets to these situations, it is just as a control measure to stop the spread, not much can be done to save these things. And there were 6 departments on scene and the fire started at 4 am, so everybody needed to be woken up before the real fire fighting could start.
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