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Sun., Sep. 21
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Fire destroys Moira barn, kills cattle; lightning strike may be to blame

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MOIRA — About three dozen cows were killed and three firefighters suffered minor injuries Friday afternoon in a fire that destroyed a barn on Alburg Road in the town of Moira.

The 200-by-40-foot barn, owned by Craig Tucker, was a total loss, Moira Fire Chief Tim Trimm said.

The barn was “gone to the ground,” he said.

The fire had spread extensively throughout the barn by the time firefighters arrived on the scene about 1:15 p.m., Mr. Trimm said. “We knew when we got there there was no saving the barn,” he said.

The structure was half full of hay, which sent a thick column of smoke into the sky as it burned, Mr. Trimm said.

Because the barn was burning so fiercely when they arrived, firefighters concentrated their efforts on saving a shop about 20 feet away, Mr. Trimm said.

Three firefighters suffered minor injuries, including Mr. Trimm, who broke a rib when he fell over debris on the ground. Another firefighter suffered a hand injury and the third was overcome by heat on a day in which the temperature reached into the 80s.

The cause of the fire is believed to be electrical, Mr. Trimm said. He noted the nearby house had been struck by lightning during the recent thunderstorms that blew through the area and said it is possible something damaged by the strike may have shorted out and sparked the blaze.

Firefighters from Moira, Dickinson, Brushton, Bombay, Bangor, St. Regis Falls, Duane, Hogansburg, Akwesasne and Malone battled the blaze. The Lawrenceville, Nicholville and North Lawrence fire companies provided tanker support, he said.

Firefighters were on the scene for about eight hours.

Mr. Tucker plans to rebuild the barn, Mr. Trimm said.

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