Fire destroys cattle building on 3B Farm

Tuesday began as a normal day at 3B Farms, each of the guys doing their jobs.  Two tractors were hooked up to pumps, pumping the pits below the cattle as they had done many times before.   A couple of the guys were loading a wagon, when one noticed flames shooting towards the ground under one of the tractors.  After shutting off the other tractor, he began to try to put out the fire.  Unfortunately, the fuel line had already caught on fire.

“With so much fuel and oil, the fire took off fast,” said Jeff Bullerman.  “I was coming down Highway 91 in the combine and there was nothing out of the ordinary.  By the time I turned onto Highway 14 there was thick black smoke and everything was up in flames.  It was only a matter of minutes.  With the help of the wind, the second tractor caught fire.  The guys were busy opening all of the gates to get the cattle out.”

“I thought we were going to get by without losing the building, when the tractors went ‘pop’ and a fire ball shot up into the roof of the building and it caught fire.  The cattle were pressed so hard against one of the gates, we had to run around to get them out.  Initially six head were trapped.  Within five minutes, about 50 people showed up to help with the cattle, which were running everywhere.  They formed a human fence and kept them from the road.”

“It took a bit for the fire departments from Adrian, Lismore and Wilmont to get the fire under control.  It was so hot and the wind was so strong.  We were very lucky,” Jeff went on.  “If the wind had been out of the south instead of the north, we would have 3000 stalk bales which were stacked north of the buildings catch fire.  I can’t imagine that.”

“The vet was on the scene and looked the cattle over and marked the ones that would have to be put down because of burns.  Overall we lost over 200 head.  It could have been so much worse.  No one was hurt.  We were so lucky.”

“If there was a silver lining,” he commented, “it was that this happened now. We have time to get it rebuilt.  We’ll have the building put back up in a month to 6 weeks.  It will all become a memory.”

“I can’t express our gratitude to the wonderful people of our Adrian community.  They are always there for you when you have a disaster hit.  We are so thankful for all of the people, including the fire departments, for their fast response and all of the help.  We live in a great community!”


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