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March 6, 2012

Cause of fire still being probed

ELLENBURG CORNERS — The cause of a massive fire that destroyed Derrick and Rosemary Glaude's Riverview Dairy Farm in Ellenburg Monday night was still under investigation Tuesday.

Ellenburg Depot Fire Chief Lou Lavalley said it appears the cause is electrical, but more information is needed before he can say for sure what sparked the blaze around 6:30 p.m. at 5504 Route 11.

The fire quickly engulfed a barn housing more than 100 heifers, killing them all.

Fire crews were at the farm all night, fighting flames that destroyed tractors, equipment, hay and a work shed within an hour after Clinton County Fire Control made its first call for fire departments to respond, Lavalley said.

He said he believed the owners have insurance.

More than 450,000 gallons of water, 18 tankers and at least nine fire departments were used to control the flames that were fanned by frigid winds, said Ellenburg Center Fire Chief Stanley Russell Jr.

He said the barn and surrounding structures were old and contained a lot of hay, which contributed to the quick-spreading fire.

A person on nearby Bombard Road saw the flames and called 911.

Mr. Glaude was tending to his other dairy farm on West Hill Road when he received a call that the property was on fire. Initially, Mrs. Glaude was worried her husband was inside the burning barn.

No injuries were reported, but Lavalley said the property is a complete loss.

The Glaudes could not be reached Tuesday for an update on their situation.

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