The Juliussen family lost 47 dairy cows when the barn the cows were trapped inside burned down on their farm in Austertana, Finnmark. Two weeks later, the carcasses were still rotting in the sun while the family awaited a police investigation into the fire.
“It is creating a certain smell and an uncomfortable atmosphere between us and the neighbours,” Kim-Arne Juliussen, the son of the farmer who owns the land told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “They understand that it is not us it stands on, but it is a very uncomfortable situation to sit in. Especially when you know that this took two days when this has happened down south.”
The family rescued 15 bulls and calves when the fire broke out on May 16, but could do nothing to save the 47 cows, four of them with unborn calves. The barn was well alight when emergency crews arrived at the scene, and the farmer was treated by paramedics.
The cause of the fire was still unknown a fortnight later. Tana district police confirmed that the fire zone had not been released, and they were waiting on a forensic investigation. In the meantime, the family could do nothing to clean up the nightmarish scene.
“I have spoken with the closest neighbours, and everyone is affected,” said Juliussen. “They are not farmers, so they are not used to such smells. In addition we’re having fantastic weather, so the smell is not getting any better. It is very desperate. I have to look at that fire scene every day and know that smell. It’s heartbreaking.”