Three Years after Classy Lane, Fire Officials urge “No more Barn Fires”


It’s been three years since the now infamous Classy Lane Stables Fire (where 43 racehorses perished in a barn fire). Fire officials across the province are saying, “Enough is enough. No more barn fires.”

Fire Chief Mark MacDonald states that while this isn’t a new problem, there are a number of factors that prompt the need for an awareness campaign. “The Classy Lane fire brought a spotlight to the issue of barn fires in terms of media and general public interest, but this has been an ongoing issue for decades. It’s not just the old barns burning; we’re seeing massive, multi-million dollar operations go up in flames. Too many lives, livelihoods and legacies have been wiped out. The fire service has to stand together with the agricultural industry and say, ‘enough is enough; no more barn fires.’”

The Ontario Fire & Life Safety Educators (OFLSE) and Belleville Fire Department have teamed up as part of a province-wide barn fire safety campaign, “Enough is Enough. No More Barn Fires!” Fire Departments in Ontario will be helping their communities do their part to achieve the goal of “no more barn fires”. Many fire departments will be advocating for their agricultural stakeholders to work with them on initiatives such as fire safety plans and raising awareness. Supporters and participants can support the campaign with the hashtag #nomorebarnfires.

The OFLSE says on its website, “Each year, barn fires rack up millions of dollars in loss and take the lives of thousands of animals. In minutes, a barn fire can wipe out the hard work of generations of dedication to breeding, production, showing and training programs. Fires can kill pets and human-animal partnerships and can devastate livelihoods in minutes. Due to the extent of damage, the cause of a barn fire is often undetermined. Of those where a cause was determined, electrical and heating appliances are the leading causes of barn fires. The good news? Barn fires are preventable and often can be avoided with simple maintenance steps.”

Statistics from the Ontario Fire Marshal & Emergency Management state that from 2013-2017, there were over 750 barn fires in the province, amounting to nearly $180 million in loss. The fires resulted in a reported 39 human injuries and many of the fires involved barns housing animals and livestock.

Further Barn Fire Prevention Resources Available at:

Barn Fire Safety Self-Assessment Form

Investing in Barn Fire Prevention

Barn Fire Prevention

 

For Further Information:

Dave MacMullen
Belleville Fire Department
dmacmullen@city.belleville.on.ca

Tanya Bettridge, Director of Communications
Ontario Fire & Life Safety Educators
tbettridge@pertheast.ca
519-595-2800 x233

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