Hundreds of pigs die in massive farm fire in Cavan Monaghan Township

Fire at Cavan farm kills 1000 pigs
An early morning fire at Woodleigh Farms in Cavan Monaghan fire destroyed six barns and claimed hundreds of pigs.

An early morning fire has destroyed six barns and claimed hundreds of pigs at Woodleigh Farms in Cavan Monaghan Township.

Five crews from Peterborough County and City of Kawartha Lakes stations responded to the scene on Sharpe Line around 5:20 a.m. Wednesday following reports of several barns on fire. The farm is just south of Peterborough.

The blaze did not reach a home on the property.

According to Trent Lakes fire chief Don Mitchell, an estimated 1,000 pigs have perished in three of the barns.

Cavan Monaghan Deputy Fire Chief Mike Tennant said the buildings were beyond saving. The main barn structure was more than 100 years old.

“We had some concerns with the wind and it spreading onto the fields but the crews spread out at key points around the barns and were able to knock down and the threat of the fire spreading,” he said.

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Woodleigh Farms, owned and operated by the Winslow and Lamothe families, dates back to 1902. For decades it focused on pork but in recent years had shifted focus to more vegetable products and maple syrup.

Colin Winslow says they had rented out several barns to a local pig farmer.

Winslow says nobody was injured but they remain devastated by magnitude of the fire and loss of livestock.

The cause of the fires is unknown at this time.

The Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal has been contacted to investigate.

“We have an excavator here and they are on scene,” said Tennant. “He is removing the steel from the barn back so we can get at the hot spots and we’ll remain in touch with the Fire Marshal’s Office during the time we’re here.”

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs was also at the fire scene.