Perth barn fire kills 1,800 pigs

The London Free Press - - REGION - TERRY BRIDGE

STRAT­FORD — 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.

Strat­ford Bea­con Her­ald

OPP PHOTO

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.

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