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Ohio barn fire kills 5,000 pigs

Ohio barn fire kills 5,000 pigs

The fire also destroyed two barns

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

An Ohio hog farm suffered devastating losses during a Tuesday barn fire.

About 5,000 pigs died in the blaze at Straathoff Swine Farm in Fayette County, the local Sheriff’s Office reports.

Firefighters from five counties and 13 agencies responded to the fire just after 1:00 p.m.

When crews arrived, two barns were completely engulfed in flames, which challenged firefighters trying to put out the fire.

It “spread quickly throughout the facility, causing intense heat and extremely heavy smoke, making it difficult for fire personnel to battle the interior of the fire,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

The fire occurred at one of the state’s largest pig farms. The Ohio Department of Agriculture currently only allows 85 of the state’s nearly 3,500 swine operations to keep at least 2,500 hogs.

“This was a large facility, on the top end of sizes in the state of Ohio, but this is a typical setup for a barn like this,” Mark Bruce, a spokesperson with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, told WOSU Radio yesterday. “It was two separate structures all part of one overall facility.”

One neighbor witnessed the fire from her house.

The thick smoke coming from the farm was different than what Tiffany Pence is used to seeing.

Pence saw “a lot of black smoke,” she told NBC4 Tuesday. “That’s when I called 9-1-1 trying to get people out here to see what’s going on.

“Usually we look out and see a big, white barn.”

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire.

Fayette County Sheriff's Office photo

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