70 cows killed in Pa. blaze

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UPDATED: A two-alarm fire ripped through a Pennsylvania dairy on Wednesday, killing 70 cows.

The blaze was reported late Wednesday afternoon at a dairy in Centre Township, and dozens of firefighters responded, according to the Reading (Pa.) Eagle. By the time fire crew arrived on the scene, the two-story barn was fully engulfed in flames.

Smoke from the inferno could be seen as far as 15 miles away.

Though some livestock were able to escape, the fire killed 70 cows. Owner Barry Good and a farmworker attempted to rescue the cows trapped inside the burning structure but were forced to evacuate as smoke filled the barn. The farmworker had to be physically restrained by Good to prevent him from re-entering the fully engulfed barn to again try to save the animals.

Officials investigating the blaze believe that a tractor parked inside the barn initially sparked the fire.

Damage estimates are unavailable, though Fire Chief Dennis Kunkle believes that the loss of the livestock in addition to the numerous pieces of farm equipment destroyed by the fire could total at least $500,000.

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