A fire broke out early Thursday morning at the Macdonald campus of McGill University, in Ste. Anne de Bellevue.

Around 5 a.m. fire broke out in the hay barn, as students were feeding cows and milking them.

Once the fire started students along with McGill employees moved dozens of cows to safety.

"There's 135 animals in the barn, so that's quite a challenge to get them out," said Paul Meldrum, director of the Macdonald campus.

"Cows are not used to moving around like this. They've very docile as you can see and very quiet cows, but they're creatures of habit and so for them to go out a different door is something new to them. The students handled it like a charm, the students and our employees who were here."

There were conflicting reports about whether animals were hurt or killed, but in the end no animals were hurt.

It took firefighters several hours to put out the fires and multiple hot spots. They had to shovel and break up bales of hay while dousing them with water.

In the end the barn and several silos were badly damaged, but by late morning all the cows were able to return to their normal building to resume their routine.