Hundreds of cows die in barn fire in Manitoba Dairy Farm - Canadanewsmedia
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Hundreds of cows die in barn fire in Manitoba Dairy Farm



Fire at one of Manitoba‘s largest dairy farms has destroyed multiple barns that held about 1,000 cows.

About 60 firefighters from five communities — the Steinbach, La Broquerie, Blumenort, New Bothwell and Ste. Anne fire departments — are all fighting the blaze at 36169 Clearsprings Rd., which was reported at 4:40 a.m. Monday.

Four connected farm buildings at Pennwood Dairy, northeast of Steinbach, were destroyed in the blaze and most of the animals are assumed to have died, said Jean-Claude Normandeau of La Broquerie​ Fire Department​​​​​​.

“The dairy barn represents approximately 2.5 per cent of the Manitoba milk production, so quite the severe impact,” Normandeau said.

Firefighters battle a barn fire northeast of Steinbach on Monday morning. (Steinbach Online)

A fire chief from Steinbach said it was “probably the largest barn fire” he has dealt with.

“We’ve had barn fires where we’ve lost one or two barns, but this is quite a sizeable loss,” Kelvin Toews said.

About 800 cows perished in the blaze, the Steinbach fire department said.

“There was probably about 1,000 animals in the barn at the time, and they were able to get 200 out,” Toews said.

The farm is one of the biggest milk producers in the province, Dairy Farmers of Manitoba said. An average dairy farm has 130 cows, the dairy farmers’ organization says.

The farm is about 50 kilometres southeast of Winnipeg, about five kilometres east of Highway 12.

cows die
About 800 cows died in the blaze, the Steinbach fire department says. (Lyza Sale/CBC)

The Steinbach fire chief said the barns are wood frame structures with tin covering the outside.

“What happens is the wood frame burns, the tin falls in and you’ve still got pancakes of stuff burning inside,” Toews said.

Most of the fire was out, he said shortly before noon, although firefighters were still tending to some hot spots and a smouldering pile of silage.

‘Cows just screaming’

Christina Braun, who lives on a neighbouring farm, said she wasn’t sure what was happening when she first heard the sirens.

“I go to open my door and I heard cows just screaming,” Braun said.

She could see flashing lights and a bright orange glow, as if the sun was setting over the tree line between her place and the neighbours’, she said.

“It sounded really close. I thought it was at my farm. Thank God it wasn’t, but it was my neighbours’.”

cows die
Roads are blocked in the area as emergency crews fight the dairy barn fire. (Lyza Sale/CBC)

A server at the nearby Quarry Oaks Golf Course said roads in the area were blocked off as she drove to work around 6 a.m.

“On my way here, I saw fire trucks and I just saw a huge cloud of smoke,” Jaylene Stoesz said.

The golf course is a few kilometres away from the fire, Stoesz said.

The office of the fire commissioner is investigating the cause of the fire.

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Liberals block ethics commissioner from testifying about SNC-Lavalin report




The Liberal majority on the House ethics committee voted down an opposition motion to have Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion testify about his report which found that Justin Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act over the SNC-Lavalin affair. Vassy Kapelos gets reaction from MPs on the committee. Plus, the Power Panel breaks down the Ford government’s changes to Ontario’s sex-education curriculum.

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Joshua Boyle worried about what his wife might tell police




Joshua Boyle

After calling 911 to report that his wife was missing and suicidal, Joshua Boyle told an Ottawa police sergeant that he was also worried what she might tell authorities when she was found.

“He told me he was concerned, as any husband would be, with what Caitlan (Coleman) would say to us when we found her,” Sgt. Shane Henderson told court Tuesday.

Henderson was one of the first officers to respond to Boyle’s 911 emergency call late on the night of Dec. 30, 2017. A recording of that call was played in court Tuesday.

The 911 call was made at 11:47 p.m. from a Centretown address.

Boyle told the dispatcher that his wife was threatening to kill herself. He said she was alone in her room then ran outside, and was “screaming at the top of her lungs that she was going to kill herself.”

He said she had borderline personality disorder, PTSD, “extreme mental instability” and other issues.

“I am very worried for her right now,” he said in the telephone recording, played in court.


Boyle told police his wife was wearing a hijab scarf on her head, but did not have a coat and may not have shoes.

Before she left the apartment, Boyle said they had an argument that “turned into rabid self-loathing, a panic attack, something, I’m not sure.”

“I had asked her to stay in her room,” he said.

“It shouldn’t be long,” the dispatcher told Boyle. “We’ll get some officers to see you there, OK?”

“OK,” Boyle replied. “Just try to be gentle with her: She is really going through a rough time.”

Sgt. Henderson was the first officer on scene, and went to Boyle’s apartment at 12:05 a.m.

Boyle repeated what he had told the dispatcher, and said his wife had initially raced up the stairs towards another apartment in the three-storey apartment block. Henderson testified: “He told me that he did not want to drag Caitlan back into the apartment or did not want to hit her.”

Henderson and another officer went to the second apartment and interviewed the young man who lived there. The tenant said he had heard someone banging on his back door 20 minutes earlier, but did not answer it.

Court heard that the officers searched the back staircase and yard but could not locate Coleman so they returned to Boyle’s apartment for more information.

According to Henderson, Boyle said Coleman was particularly stressed because her mother was in town, and she was worried about the state of their apartment. They had also argued, Boyle told Henderson, about drawing on walls and “Caitlan, as a wife, not performing her roles and responsibilities as a mother.”

Boyle told Henderson that he wanted Coleman to stay in her room and calm down. “He told me he kept the door open and at no time prevented her from leaving,” Henderson testified.

“He said he offered to have sex with Caitlan if she wanted to.”

When Henderson asked if Coleman had a cellphone, Boyle reached on top of the fridge and retrieved a flip phone.

Henderson asked what it was doing there. “Boyle said he took the phone away to make sure she did not break the phone as she had broken phones in the past,” Henderson testified.

Boyle is on trial on 19 charges, including assault, sexual assault and forcible confinement.

His wife Caitlan Coleman, with whom he was held hostage in Afghanistan, is the principal complainant in the case. She’s expected to testify Wednesday.

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Tanker crash kills one, injures nine near Cereal Alberta




Tanker crash

“One of the semi trucks was hauling fuel and that fuel ignited,” said RCMP Cpl. Laurel Scott. “So, that caused other vehicles in the collision to catch fire. A second semi was hauling butane and that’s caused a concern.”

A release from RCMP also confirmed the collision area is “consumed with flames.”

As a result of the second truck hauling butane, a preliminary evacuation order had been issued for the hamlet of Chinook.

By 9:00 pm, Alberta Emergency Alert officially rescinded the evacuation order for the community.

STARS Air Ambulance has flown one person to hospital in Calgary in serious, potentially life-threatening condition while HALO transported another individual in serious condition.

Brideaux also confirmed to Global News that six people have been treated at the scene and are likely to be released.

RCMP are also reaching out to anyone who was a part of or was witness to the domino crash, asking them to meet with officers in nearby Oyen.

“We’re asking those people to attend the Legion in Oyen,” said Scott. “Right now the Legion has been opened, food is available at the Legion, our Victims Services Unit members are at the Legion, and we have an RCMP member or members at the Legion. So, anybody who was a part of this collision, witness or needing some assistance in relation to the collision, is asked to go to the Legion.”

There is no word yet on the original cause of the fatal crash, as Scott added it will be several hours before a collision analyst is able to attend the scene.

“We will have a collision analyst attending,” she said. “But, I can tell you that collision analyst is not able and has not been able to look at the scene to do any examination or investigation.”

Traffic has since been rerouted from Highway 9 to Highway 884 eastbound and Highway 41 westbound.

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