Minnesota Barn Fire causes 3,000 Piglet deaths

MINNESOTA - About 3,000 piglets and nearly 400 sows were killed in a barn fire at one of the largest hog operations in Minnesota writes UPI.
calendar icon 23 December 2006
clock icon 2 minute read
Holden Farms owner Kent Holden estimates the losses at about $2 million for the barn and more than $150,000 for the dead sows and piglets, Northfield, Minn., Fire Chief Gerry Franek said.

The cause of the fire appeared accidental, he told The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Holden Farms is known in the pork industry for using meticulous biosecurity and state-of-the-art equipment.

A sophisticated monitoring system dialed one of the operation's employees with a high-temperature alert at 1:25 a.m., Franek said.

By the time firefighters arrived, many of the piglets and sows had already died of smoke inhalation, Franek said, but firefighters could hear some squealing, beyond reach.

It's a sad situation when you hear suffering animals, of any kind, Franek said.

When the roof caved in, firefighters knew they could not save the burning barn and the pigs inside, he said.

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