Fire fighters from Madawaska Valley and Brudenell Lyndoch Raglan together battled a three-barn blaze on Upper Rosenthal Road on Sunday May 7, as nine fire trucks and 23 fire fighters were on the scene at one point. MV Fire Chief Corwin Quade told The Current that the first truck was on site within 20 minutes of the 4:12 pm call about a fully engulfed barn on fire in the 600 Block of Upper Rosenthal Road – although the location of the fire was 16 km from the Combermere Station and 34 km from the Barry’s Bay Station.
Upon arrival fire fighters observed three barns were on fire. Fifteen fire fighters from MVFD along with two pumpers, two tankers and two rescue vehicles responded. Mutual aid was requested for two tankers from BLR, and a third tanker was later requested. Eight BLR fire fighters were sent to assist with the blaze.
The owner of the farm was working in the barn yard when he noticed flames coming out of the wall and roof of the barn. The first barn contained pigs; five died in the fire and the rest were rescued by the owner. Five hundred bales of hay were stored in the barn as well as a large amount of gas in cans.
Fire fighters were on the scene for more than five hours on Sunday and over 60,000 gallons of water were poured on the flames. Four fire fighters returned to the barn fire on Monday afternoon and applied another 4,000 gallons of water. Martin Walsh also attended with an excavator to pull the buildings apart and extinguish the burning hay.
Trucks got stuck due to the soft muddy ground. Neighbour Derek Grosklag supplied a skidder to help pull them out. Fire Chief Quade said, “We can’t thank him enough for helping out.” Quade thanked the BLR Fire Dept. for their quick response to MV’s call for help. He also expressed thanks to more residents for their assistance: “We are grateful to Craig Phanenhour for contacting Martin Walsh, Martin Walsh for bringing his excavator, and Anita Phanenhour for the food for the fire fighters.”
Quade said the fire was accidental in nature; the cause has not been determined. There were no injuries to anyone, and the total loss is estimated to be in the range of $500,000.