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Barn inferno kills thousands of hogs

By: Grant Burr

Posted: 11/10/2017 4:00 PM

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Hanover fire chief Paul Wiebe remains on the scene of a barn fire north of Pansy which killed 7,500 sows and weanlings on Friday morning.

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Hanover fire chief Paul Wiebe remains on the scene of a barn fire north of Pansy which killed 7,500 sows and weanlings on Friday morning.

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No damage estimate is yet available but the costs can certainly be expected to be significant said Hanover fire chief Paul Wiebe, after a hog barn fire on Friday morning resulted in the loss of 7,500 sows and weanlings.

Wiebe said crews were called to a structure fire in a hog barn about a mile north of Pansy around 6:45 a.m.

Grunthal and Kleefeld fire crews who attended the scene quickly called in more resources from the municipality’s New Bothwell fire department as one of the three barns on site was ablaze.

"One of the barns was fully involved and was spreading to the second barn," Wiebe said.

The metal cladding of hog barns makes them especially difficult fires to fight, he noted. After about two hours, Wiebe said Hanover fire crews had the scene under control.

High winds were also factor in the fire, which killed 1,500 sows and 6,000 weanlings.

"Wind definitely pushed it into the second barn," Wiebe said, "Without that we may have had a chance to stop it, but the wind was significant."

Firefighters were able to save the third barn on the property, which was upwind of the blaze, saving the lives of another 1,500 sows inside.

At the scene on Friday afternoon, Wiebe said crews were working to clear debris and investigate the source of the fire.

"We look at it as a big loss but also a big stop, we were able to save some things," he said.

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