Hundreds of calves killed in shed fire

More than 200 new-born calves have died in a blaze at a calf-rearing shed north of Oamaru this evening.

Crews were called to the blaze, in McDonalds Rd, about 10km north of Oamaru, shortly before 6pm.

It was initially reported as being in a shearing shed but that was incorrect, a Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman said later this evening.

There were reports of a digger being used to remove hay bales from the building, after which it became clear that more than 200 calves had died, he said.

Full details were not immediately available but part of the complex had been heavily damaged. 

Two fire appliances, from Oamaru and Glenavy, backed by water tankers from Glenavy and Weston, attended and some firefighters had used breathing apparatus.

The fire had now been extinguished and was not regarded as suspicious, he said.


How devastating. I just hope that the calves went to sleep calmly by smoke inhalation rather than being burned alive.