Cattle perish, hay burns in Westville barn fire

A Brushton firefighter douses flames at a Westville barn on Friday afternoon on County Route 40. (Provided photo — Alexander Violo/Malone Telegram)

WESTVILLE — A structure fire ripped through a barn on County Route 40 in Westville Friday afternoon, drawing crews from throughout Franklin County and departments from north of the border to the scene.

Ricky Provost, director of Franklin County Emergency Services, said the structure fire was one of three Friday afternoon in the county. Other fires were reported in Hogansburg and Malone.

Provost said in addition to the structure itself, nearby bales of hay also caught fire.

“There are some bales on fire,” Provost said. “The embers got too hot on the other side of the road.” Provost said the fire itself occurred in a cow barn.

“They lost a few head of cattle,” Provost said. “We have all this hay we have to deal with because of exposed barns nearby.”

Provost said the focus of fire crews at the scene was containing the fire to its original location.

“Just keeping it in the structure that it originated in, there’s a house right on the other side of it, this building is basically destroyed,” he said, adding that firefighters had prevented the fire from spreading to the house as of 3 p.m.

Provost said fire crews were drawing water from multiple sources in the area.

“We are going to a nearby gravel pit, we are going out of the county landfill and we are going out of County Route 4, the river near County Route 4,” Provost said.

Provost said he was unaware of any injuries resulting from the fire and did not yet know if anyone was inside the barn when the fire broke out.

Provost said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Fire crews were dispatched to the scene around 1 p.m.


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