Update: 7,500 to 8,000 pigs perish in Hartland fire

Published 9:46 am Monday, January 9, 2017

HARTLAND — Between 7,500 and 8,000 pigs perished Saturday after a pig barn was destroyed in a fire southeast of Hartland.

Nine agencies responded to the fire at 71082 300th St., said Geneva Fire Captain Alex Beenken. The barn was reported a complete loss.

The fire was called in to the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office at 3:38 p.m. According to the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office, the fire started in a wall on the south side of the building near an office area. The reporting party reportedly tried to put the fire out but was unable to do so.

The fire spread up the wall and into the ceiling throughout the building.

Beenken said the nursery barn for feeder pigs was completely engulfed when he first arrived on scene, and he was there for nearly four hours.

The cause of the fire has not been released.

No human injuries were reported in the fire, and damage was limited to the barn.

The Salvation Army assisted on scene and provided sandwiches and hot chocolate. A rehabilitation trailer was also available to help firefighters who battled the fire in sub-freezing temperatures.

Firefighters were called back out to the scene at 11:30 a.m. Sunday after the building reportedly started back on fire. It was still smoldering this morning.

A pig barn was destroyed Saturday in a barn fire southeast of Hartland. — Sam Wilmes/Albert Lea Tribune

A pig barn was destroyed Saturday in a barn fire southeast of Hartland. — Sam Wilmes/Albert Lea Tribune

The State Fire Marshal’s Office has been called in to assist in the investigation.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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