The investigation of the barn fire in Parkhill that killed 2100 pigs continues for Middlesex County fire investigator Murray Hathaway and the Office of the Fire Marshal.
“We’re obligated to notify the OFM (Office of the Fire Marshal) under certain conditions. One those conditions is if there would be over a $500 loss,” the fire chief for the Municipality of North Middlesex, Will Davidson, said.”It is entirely up to them if they investigate from there on.”
Upon arrival at 3 am Tuesday morning, firefighters found the 50′ by 350′ barn on Parkhill Drive between Prance Road and Sylvan Road engulfed in flames.
Middlesex Fire Services recently launched a barn fire safety campaign to provide information for area farmers.
“With the number of recent barn fires across the province, the North Middlesex Fire Department is encouraging farmers to install and maintain fire separations in agricultural buildings as well as installing early warning fire detection in these structures,” Davidson said in the media release.
Farm safety tips that Davidson noted in the media release include:
- Manure piles should be 10 metres (at minimum) from barns to reduce the risk of combustion.
- Straw needs to be properly dried before storage in a barn.
- Check appliances, wiring, electrical and heating equipment to ensure that all are in safe working order.
- Frayed or damaged wiring should be repaired and replaced once it is identified.
- Do not refuel engines inside any building while the engine is running or if the engine is hot.
- Extension cords are only for temporary use and should be removed after use.
- Prohibit smoking in or around barns or where flammable farm materials are present.
“We know when it is cold we have heating devices, it’s always a consideration when you have space heaters or any types of heaters that they are well maintained.” Davidson said.
Davidson recommends frequent maintenance of appliances to avoid running the risk of a fire starting spontaneously.
“It’s more of clearances to your chimneys, to your vent connectors and to your appliances. As well as maintaining your appliances. I think that’s the most important thing.” Davidson said.
The cause of the fire remains unknown as well as an estimate on the financial cost.