140 cattle rescued after major fire engulfs barn

50 cows have been rescued from a fire at a two haysheds at Ballybobey in Co Antrim
50 cows have been rescued from a fire at a two haysheds at Ballybobey in Co Antrim
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Some 140 cattle have been saved from a major blaze at a barn at Ballybogey in Co Antrim.

The blaze broke out around midday on Sunday at a farm on the main road from Ballymoney to Portrush, a mile outside the village of Ballybogey.

More than 50 cows have been rescued from a fire at a two haysheds at Ballybobey in Co Antrim

More than 50 cows have been rescued from a fire at a two haysheds at Ballybobey in Co Antrim

Police closed the road as it was engulfed with smoke, which one eyewitness said could be seen 10 miles away.

The fire service said there were about 1,000 bales in the sheds.

Fire appliances needed to continually return to Ballybogey village to refill with water.

Station commander Liam Sullivan said compacted straw was accidentally ignited by work being done on the farm.

Mr Sullivan said it was critical to close the fire down because nearby cattle were still being kept indoors from the winter season.

One adjacent barn had 40 calves while another had over 100 cattle. Firefighters helped the farmer’s family lead 12 cattle out of one shed.

“The son and family which owned the farm were a great help to us in a very unfortunate incident for them,” he said. “The neighbours were also immense and gave us a lot of help and assistance”.

The compacted straw led to an unusually high volume of burning straw streaming from the barn, he said.

Firefighters also had to take special care due to large quantities of insecticide and diesel nearby, he added.

There were six fire appliances involved, with two special appliances and 45 firefighters in total.

There were no injuries, although the farm owner was taken to hospital to be checked for smoke inhalation but was later released.