The owner of a large dairy farm north of Edmonton is trying to focus on moving forward after a devastating fire at the property left more than 100 animals dead.
Jeff Nonay said an employee discovered the fire at Lakeside Dairy in Sturgeon County at around 2 a.m. Friday.
“When he pulled into the yard our facility that we use to raise all of our young stock, our youngest animals on the farm — 10 months and under — was fully involved in a massive fire,” Nonay said over the phone Friday night.
About 130 animals, mainly cows, were killed in the fire — including Nonay’s daughters 4H animals.
“The animals involved are the future of the farm. That’s our breeding stock, that’s the cows that are going to be putting milk on the table three years down the road, so we’re going to have to figure out how to replace that,” he said.
“We’re not going to see the impacts in what we do — milking and supplying beef — in the short-term but it’s a tremendous hole in the long-term. The loss of the critters is the hardest part, there’s no question about it.”
The barn that caught fire also supplies water and electricity to other parts of the facility. Nonay said a neighbour who is an electrician was able to restore the power, and another neighbour loaned him a water truck. He said the community support has been incredible.
“It’s been phenomenal,” he said. “I’m proud of my employees and thankful for the support and outreach and people that stopped by and people that just let me know that they were there if I needed them.”
Three cats were able to escape the barn, Nonay said. From calves to cows and beef animals, the farm is home to about 550 animals.
No people were injured in the blaze.
It’s not known exactly when the fire started. The cause is under investigation.