Steinbach's Fire Chief says all cattle are safe and sound following a barn fire at Benner Holsteins early this morning.
Kel Toews says crews were called to Provincial Road 311 at two o'clock Thursday morning. When they arrived, there was not a lot of smoke coming from the building, but Toews says they could see an orange glow through the windows. Fire departments from Blumenort and Giroux were quickly called for backup.
Toews says they immediately shut down the propane supply to the barn in order to cut off the fuel. They then sent a crew into the barn and quickly knocked down the fire.
But Toews says after taking some thermal imaging readings they discovered there was heat in the attic and so they cut a hole into the attic and discovered a fire up there too.
Toews does not have a damage estimate. He says there was damage to some trusses and then also from the hole they cut into the attic. However, he says not one of the approximately 450 head of cattle was injured.
"Two huge factors in the fact that the barn was saved and the cattle were saved was the fact that (the owner) noticed it early and we got called out early before the fire had a chance to spread too much," says Toews. "The other big factor was it's a fairly new barn, so new building codes were employed, so they had separations in the attic space, so again the fire didn't get legs in the attic and spread throughout the barn."
Toews says according to the owner there will be no business loss and none of the cattle will need to be shipped away. Again, he credits the fact this is a newer barn.
"It was built to the new building code and building codes work," says Toews. "They are there for a reason and it probably saved 450 cattle and a lot of dollar value in a barn."
Toews says the cause of the fire was a propane heater in the barn.
He notes firefighters cleared the scene at approximately 5 am.
There were no injuries.