About 500 milking goats perished in a barn fire near Delaware in Middlesex Centre Sunday. Another 30 head of cattle also died.

Fire crews arrived at the scene on Bells Road about 6 a.m. and found the barn engulfed.

Mark Rennison, Middlesex Centre acting fire chief, said there was so much damage to the barn, the cause of the fire will likely remain undetermined. "High winds fuelled the fire," he said. Firefighters could only take a defensive position at that point.

Firefighters said they were saddened that they weren't able to save any of the animals, but there was nothing they could do.

Rennison said a neighbour saw the fire on the way to work and alerted a resident at the home on site. Someone inside the home called 911.

Delaware and Coldstream stations from Middlesex Centre Fire Services as well as London's Tanker 11 and Oneida Fire Services also attended.  

Rennison said the barn was 80 feet by 300 feet in length and had divided areas within it. It had a large section containing machinery and hay.

Rennison said Middlesex County investigators will continue to try to determine a cause.

"We are going to investigate a little bit further, but unfortunately because of the amount of damage, it will be hard to determine a cause for sure."

The damage estimate is about $2 million.