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Fire destroys Lisbon barn; dozens of cows killed

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LISBON – Firefighters responded to help one of their own Wednesday night as fire destroyed a barn and killed more than 30 dairy cows.

Firefighters responded to a call at the organic dairy farm at 752 Pray Road shortly after 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night.

A 300-by-60-foot barn, owned by Lee Morrison, was fully engulfed by the time firefighters arrived. The barn was a total loss, Lisbon Fire Chief John A. McLear said.

“When we got here it was fully involved,” Mr. McLear said. “It could not be saved.”

No people were harmed. The fire did not spread to the family’s home.

“They just got finished milking the cows for the night, walked in the house, looked outside and the whole thing was fully engulfed,” Mr. McLear said.

The cause was unknown.

For the Lisbon Fire Department, the loss was personal. Mr. Morrison is a volunteer firefighter and an assistant fire chief, and his father, Francis Morrison, is the oldest member and foreman of the fire department, Mr. McLear said.

It was a rough night for the close-knit department, Mr. McLear said.

“Probably 30 to 40 cows altogether were lost,” Mr. McLear said.

The livestock were insured but not the barn, Mr. McLear said. Mr. McLear, who was in charge at the scene, called for extra water and manpower from Heuvelton, Morley, Morristown and Waddington.

“That’s why we called for District Three,” which includes Hammond, Brier Hill, Morristown, Heuvelton, Ogdensburg and Lisbon, Mr. McLear said. “They have three departments that can haul 8,000 gallons of water at once.”

The fire was put out shortly before 9 p.m.

Thanks to the efforts of multiple departments and firefighters’ quick response time, a nearby home and one silo was saved.




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