Some cows and calves perished in a fire that destroyed a barn at the Hymers farm in the town of Delhi on Thursday, the fire chief said.

Thirty to 40 firefighters were at the scene, using a tanker shuttle system to attack the “extremely hot” blaze, Daren Evans, chief of the Delhi Fire Department, said at about 9 p.m. Thursday.

The barn on Elk Creek Road was a familiar sight and was part of a working dairy operation, Evans said. Most of the cows survived and were moved to another farm, he said. The owners, Scott and Gail Hymers, seemed to be OK and were working on arranging care for the cows, he said.

“Obviously, it’s quite an emotional strain on everybody,” said Evans, who didn’t have numbers on the size of the herd or how many cows were lost.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Delaware County Emergency Services Office Cause and Origin Team, Evans said.

The fire was reported by a motorist passing by at about 11 a.m., Evans said, and by the time firefighters arrived, flames had fully engulfed the the large, two-story wooden barn with a hay loft.

Firefighters set up holding ponds for water at either end of the barn, Evans said, and six or seven tankers shuttled water from Elk Creek and a tributary off of Elk Creek Road.

Later, crews established a direct stream of water from the Delhi aerial ladder truck, he said.

An excavator was used to move debris as firefighters checked for hot spots under hay and pieces of tin roofing, Evans said, and crews were at the scene until about 8 p.m.

Conditions were a little slippery, he said, but no hoses froze and no one was hurt.

Evans said some small explosions occurred, such as from propane tanks, but they were related to the blaze and not the cause of the fire.

Evans said he believed that the Hymers have insurance coverage.

A telephone recording for Sco Gail Dream Farm in Delhi said no one was available for a call Thursday night.

Evans said mutual aid was provided by Bovina, Bloomville and East Meredith. A tanker from Meridale was used, he said, and Walton crews were on standby at the Delhi station.

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