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Barn fire near Ottawa claims dairy cows

Fire occurred at Ryandale Farm

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content

An Ottawa-area farmer is in recovery mode after a fire tore through one of his barns, almost claiming his entire herd of dairy cows.

“I haven’t been able to go back to the farm yet,” Chris Ryan told CTV News. “It’s still something that’s sinking in. It’s hard to accept.”


Ryan and his family were vacationing when a neighbour saw the fire on July 25 and called firefighters. The fire spread too quickly for firefighters to save the structure.

“Unfortunately, this barn, when we showed up, was see through, and fully-involved in fire,” The Nation Fire Chief, Tobias Hovey, told CTV News.

Fifty-seven milking cows perished in the fire, and Ryan said they were more than just animals.

Ryandale Farm fire
Firefighters battle a blaze at Ryandale Farm in Riceville, Ontario
Photo: CTV News Ottawa

“Those cows, they were babies for us too, and my daughter loved them,” he said.

One cow, named Ninja, survived the fire. She’s pregnant and is being housed in a neighbour’s barn.

Unfortunately for the Ryans, the image of a burning barn isn’t a new experience.

Three years ago, another barn on the farm that housed breeding livestock burned down. Ryan suffered third-degree burns trying to save them and put himself in a weeklong coma.

The Ryans have insurance but it may not cover all of their losses.

A fundraising page has been set up to help the young family get back on their feet.

The cause of the fire remains unknown.

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