Calf deaths in New York
fire blamed on heater
Fire investigators say an electric block heater used to start a tractor is to blame for a fire at a central New York dairy farm that killed about eight to 10 calves.
The fire broke out around 7 a.m. Sunday (Dec. 18) at a farm in DeRuyter, about 23 miles southeast of Syracuse. DeRuyter Fire Chief Ed Coon says the flames spread quickly after the heater malfunctioned.
Coon says the surviving 220 cattle were moved to neighboring dairy farms.
Seven fire departments from Madison, Onondaga, Cortland and Chenango counties worked through the morning to contain the blaze.
The fire also destroyed the barn's milking parlor.