WEST TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) — Sixty calves died in a fire at a family farm Friday in West Township, according to Sandy Creek Joint Fire District Chief Aaron Stoller.
Stoller said 20 to 25 calves were also rescued.
The Whiteleather family farm on Essick Road had three barns burned in the fire. The main barn was over 140 years old.
The barns damaged were a cattle barn, a calf barn and a straw shed. The family also lost farm equipment and over 1,000 bales of hay.
The milking parlor and a new barn were saved.
Crews responded at about 5:15 p.m. and were there until 10:30 p.m. The responding fire departments had to bring in water on tanker trucks.
Family members said it was devastating, but those in the neighborhood sprang to action. Many farmers came with trailers and trucks and herded the cows that were saved to neighboring farms.
“It was a very sad day to see such a loss, but we’re grateful that the cattle got out, and we’re really grateful for all of the community response, so we’re thankful for that,” said Shirley Whiteleather Fox.
The farm has been in operation for over 100 years. Whiteleather Fox said she hopes they come back from this so the farm will continue for future generations.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.