1,800 pigs killed after $1M damage tears through Perth County barn early Tuesday

1,800 pigs killed after $1M damage tears through Perth County barn early Tuesday
By Terry Bridge
Stratford Beacon Herald
Link to article: 1,800 pigs killed after $1M damage tears through Perth County barn early Tuesday

About 1,800 pigs were killed in this $1-million barn blaze on a farm between Stratford and St. Marys in Perth County early Tuesday morning. (OPP photo)

About 1,800 pigs were killed early Tuesday morning in a Perth County barn fire that caused more than $1 million in damage.

Firefighters arrived at the farm on Perth Line 16 between Stratford and St. Marys about 6:15 a.m., but it was already too late, they say.

“The structure was fully engulfed in flames,” said St. Marys fire Chief Richard Anderson.

There were 1,800 pigs inside at the time. “They were all lost,” Anderson said.

The fire chief said the owner was “extremely upset” over the loss of the livestock.

The fire was deemed under control by 7:30 a.m. and firefighters left the scene about 10:30 a.m.

Anderson said the cause of the blaze is undetermined as of Tuesday afternoon, but it’s not suspicious. He contacted the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office, but officials won’t be investigating.

“They were happy with the response,” Anderson said. “Even with the dollar value, they didn’t feel it was necessary to come down (to investigate).”

But the town’s fire chief and fire prevention officer will investigate over the next few days.

Anderson said the owner, who lives on a different property, received a phone call from a friend alerting him to the fire while on his way to work early Tuesday. With the blaze already engulfing the lengthy structure by the time firefighters arrived, there was nothing they could do to save the animals.

“Especially the way it was coming through the roof like that, I’d never risk my guys’ lives,” Anderson said. “The structure was too weak — you could tell as soon as it comes through there — so it was a strictly defensive, outside attack.”

St. Marys asked for help from fire stations in Sebringville and Mitchell.

“Between our tanker and their two, we had a continuous water supply that entire time,” he said. “Extremely happy with the way in which everything went.”

Just as St. Marys released the crew, the Mitchell firefighters were called to a chicken barn fire.

“It was good timing for them,” Anderson said.

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