Genetics laboratory fire in Yarram destroys 100 cryogenic cylinders containing cattle semen

| 17.09,19. 02:01 PM |


Genetics laboratory fire in Yarram destroys 100 cryogenic cylinders containing cattle semen



Photo: Fire has destroyed the Yarram Herd Services building in Rodgers Street overnight. (Supplied: Country Fire Authority )


An overnight fire has destroyed 100 valuable cryogenic cylinders containing cattle semen at a genetics laboratory and storage facility at Yarram in south-east Victoria.


The fire in Rodgers Street started about 3:00am and took 10 fire crews more than two hours to contain.


The 250-square-metre building was fully alight when firefighters arrived.


Country Fire Authority Gippsland commander, Chris Loeschenkohl, said the fire presented unique challenges for firefighters.


"The liquid inside the cylinders was rapidly expanding and essentially the lids of the cryogenic cylinders were just popping off the top and projectiles were being thrown from the building," he said.


"So firefighters went into a defensive mode initially to protect themselves, because there were also LPG cylinders at the neighbouring property, and they did a magnificent job.


"I've never had anything to do with the artificial insemination (AI) side of things before.


"There was a couple of other flammable liquid cylinders stored within the building which did cause projectiles to exit the building."


'It's a huge blow'


Yarram Herd Services had provided artificial insemination, breeding advice, herd testing, calf dehorning, and freeze-branding services for dairy and beef cattle farmers between Woodside and Yanakie in South Gippsland for the past 20 years.


Committee vice chairman Aaron Thomas said 100 cryogenic cylinders of cattle semen were destroyed in the fire.


"The actual cylinders are worth between $500 and $1,000 per unit but the semen inside them varies in price," he said.


"We're coming into the AI season so there would have been substantial amounts of semen inside the tanks that we've lost, which was owned by our local farmers, and it can range in value from $5 per straw to $95 per straw.


"It's going to be a huge blow, especially for our farmers."


Mr Thomas said equipment as well as cattle semen was lost in the blaze.


"A lot of farmers would have semen stock in the building in those tanks, preparing for AI, so we've got that plus all of our herd-testing equipment that was in there as well," he said.


"So this is significant damage and it is going to have a flow-on effect on Yarram, especially after the drought that Yarram district has experienced over the last 12 months.


"It's going to be a real blow for sure."


The Yarram Herd Services board, management, and staff will meet today.


Fire investigators have been called in to determine the cause of the fire.


abc


(Votes: 0)

Other News

NSW wild weather brings surprise snow to Goulburn and Blue Mountains, and heavy rain for Sydney ASIO warns of terrorism risk from stripping Australian suspects of citizenship Three Liberal MPs to move spill motion against Premier over abortion bill Julie Bishop offers to help Perth travel bloggers, Melbourne uni lecturer locked up in Iran Man found dead in caravan in Scoresby Volkswagen reaches multi-million-dollar settlement in Australian 'dieselgate' scandal Two women dead after car, bus collide on Indian Ocean Drive near the Pinnacles north of Perth Boy was inside parked car in Nunawading where man and woman died, police say Oil prices jump 13pc following Saudi Arabia attack, but fuel prices should not follow yet Extinction Rebellion protest in Melbourne leads to dozens of arrests after bridge shut down Emergency warnings downgraded as wind change eases threat to northern NSW homes Parents 'used 14-year-old son to smuggle drugs' Drugs lab discovered after Sydney house fire Two men found dead inside drifting boat off Central Queensland Reserve Bank may slash rates to 0.25 per cent, but 'reluctant' to dip into negative territory Gardeners to face backyard blitz on netting with new laws proposed to protect wildlife Google Earth leads to discovery of William Moldt's remains, 22 years after he went missing Smoking and vaping ban tipped for Melbourne's Bourke Street Mall Gladys Liu did not disclose membership of Chinese Government-linked organisations before Liberal Party preselection Passenger falls through deck onto another person on toilet in Brisbane paddlewheeler crash Royal Mint releases new batch of 50 cent coins with a secret mission بعد النفي: نائبة حزب الأحرار تُقرّ بأنها كانت عضوة في مؤسسة تدعم الصين Families of Australian travel bloggers held in Iranian jail say they hope for their safe return Trampoline tossed through roof as winds leave trail of damage in southern Tasmania Roadside drug tests for cannabis return false results, research finds Queensland bushfire danger to return to very high in days ahead Finding ways to fight fire without water as crews face 'nightmare scenario' Dramatic video shows Queensland police evacuating Peregian during bushfires Young South Australian killed in high-speed crash on major Adelaide road Human remains found at property in Geelong