The blaze early Tuesday at Yarram Herd Services, which offers artificial insemination and breeding advice to farmers, caused 100 cryogenic cylinders containing the bull sperm to explode and splatter the burning building, according to Daily Mail Australia.
The fire was a “huge blow” for the business, Yarram Herd Services spokesperson Aaron Thomas told the Australian Broadcasting Co.
“The actual cylinders are worth between $500 and $1,000 per unit, but the semen inside them varies in price,” Thomas 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.”
The cause of the fire was being investigated, according to local journalist Bonnie Barkmeyer.
Putting out the fire was a unique challenge because “the lids of the cryogenic cylinders were just popping off the top and projectiles were being thrown from the building,” Chris Loeschenkohl, a fire commander, told the Metro.
Firefighters faced so many sticking points that they fought the blaze for more than two hours before bringing it under control.