Fire Rips Through Barn in Southern Tier

February 14, 2012 Updated Feb 14, 2012 at 3:53 PM EDT

By Allen Leight

February 14, 2012 Updated Feb 14, 2012 at 3:53 PM EDT

HOLLAND, NY (WKBW) - Fire crews were still hard at work hours after a fire broke out inside a large barn at Pine Lawn Farms in Holland, NY Monday afternoon.

Crews were called to the scene around 1:00 p.m., and immediately support crews were called in.

"It started in the shop area and worked its way down and once it got into the hay [area], there was no stopping it," describes farm owner Norbert Bennett.

More than 7,000 bails of hay were housed inside that barn, which served as food for the nearly 80 young dairy cows and about one dozen horses that were also housed there.

Once the fire broke out, neighbors and passers-by jumped into action to save the animals trapped inside.

"The owners and some local town residents helped to get the cows out as well as the fire department," said Holland Fire Chief Mike O'Connor.

"A lot of people stopped and helped, there was a man that stopped, I had 10 horses here and he let those horses out. Probably another 15 minutes they would have been gone because the fire was moving in that direction," Bennett explains.

The horses are now being cared for at a nearby facility, however with no place to house all the young cows, Bennett says he will have to send them to auction in the next few days.

And despite the loss of his main barn, Bennett says he's thankful the blaze didn't cause any more damage.

"It's kind of tragic but the house is here, that was saved. No loss of life. A lot of volunteer fire people came and really did a good job getting all of the animals out."

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