Massive barn fire at Hilltopview Farm
The Laderoute family's Hilltopview dairy farm, located on Nicolai Road in La Passe, was engulfed in a fiery blaze on Jan. 27 that left at least $1 million in loss.
LA PASSE – Fire ravaged the Laderoute family’s Hilltopview dairy farm on Saturday afternoon, killing 150 livestock and incurring a loss of at least $1 million.
Around 2:40 p.m. on Jan. 27, neighbours called 911 to report smoke escaping from the Hilltopview dairy farm located along Nicolai Road in La Passe.
Local O.P.P. and the Whitewater Fire Department immediately responded to the call and upon arriving at 2:50 p.m. the fire had fully engulfed barn and caused irreparable damage.
As a team of firefighters fought the aggressive blaze, the Laderoutes attempted to rescue as many cattle as possible.
Of the farm’s 162 livestock, only 12 were fortunate to be rescued while a total of 150 perished in the fire or had to be dispatched due to extreme injuries.
The blaze continued to send up smoke into the evening as a thick haze permeated the air.
The following morning, the Office of the Fire Marshall was contacted and fire investigator Christiaan ter Stege arrived on scene to begin investigations and assess the total financial damage.
According to ter Stege, the fire was not suspicious, but the exact cause remains to be determined.
“We're here to conduct a fire investigation into the origin, cause and circumstances of the fire and right now I’m just in the initial stages and I will resume the investigation Monday morning,” said ter Stege on Sunday evening. “It’s not a suspicious cause at all, but we still need to follow our standard systematic approach as we would with any investigation. In this case, it's a huge structure – 275 feet long – and with a lot of ventilation and the wind being quite strong Saturday night going into the north east, that would have caused problems.”
To assist the Laderoute family with their tragic loss, a GoFundMe was created to help raise $10,000 to assist with their immediate needs. To support the fundraiser, visit www.gofundme.com/hilltopview-farm-fire-laderoutes