Seventeen calves were killed during a shed fire on a Templemore farm in Co Tipperary on Tuesday 9 February.

The dairy farmer, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Irish Farmers Journal that the blaze bloke out as a result of a stray spark.

“We are currently building a new shed beside the calf shed and one of the lads was using an angle grinder.

“It was a dry and breezy day and the calves had been bedded on fresh dry straw,” he said.

“Once the spark hit the straw the flame rose and it was impossible to get back under control. There were 55 calves in the shed in total. Ten died instantly and a further seven died as a result of their injuries.”

Internal damage

Two fire brigade units attended the scene at 1.30pm and remained on farm until 4pm, Tipperary Fire Services told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“Only internal damage to the plumbing and electrics was caused to the shed so it is structurally fine. It’s unfortunate to lose the calves that way but these things happen,” the farmer continued.

“It’s a busy time of year on farms, so there’s no point dwelling on it, we’ll move on and try to keep our heads up.”

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