Two hundred cattle were killed when a cowshed, a barn and an adjacent building were destroyed in a fire on the farm Staerri-Árskógur near Dalvík, northeast Iceland, on Saturday night. The damages are estimated worth nearly ISK 200 million (USD 3.3 million, EUR 2.2 million).
Farmer Gudmundur Geir Jónsson, 35, tried in vain to save his cattle but the rapid spread of the fire and stormy weather made his rescue attempt impossible. Just over 30 cattle managed to escape on their own, Morgunbladid reports.
“This is the worst thing that can happen to a farmer—apart from losing human lives—to watch his cattle burn,” Jónsson said.
“It is too early to say whether I will rebuild,” Jónsson added. “I have made extensive investments and I have high debts. I have to make down payments every month and now I won’t have any income so starting again will be very difficult.”
The source of the fire is unclear, but an automatic electrical system had notified the farmer of a failure five minutes before he realized that the cowshed was on fire.