02/18/11 — 700 feeder pigs die in fire

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700 feeder pigs die in fire

By Gary Popp
Published in News on February 18, 2011 1:46 PM

Nearly 700 feeder pigs died in a fire at a Duplin County farm Wednesday.

The pigs each weighed about 45 pounds and were delivered to Grey Morgan, of GM Farm, earlier this week.

The pigs are believed to have died of smoke inhalation.

The fire is believed to have started in an electrical panel in the hog house, but the official cause remains undetermined.

The hog house and an old barn at the farm on Jones Turn Road were a total loss, said Mount Olive firefighter Michael Williams.

The fire, which began around 2:27 p.m., was exacerbated by wind and dry conditions fire officials said.

"The hog house caught fire and the wind set the pasture on fire which spread to an old barn on the other end of a field," Williams said.

Williams said the fire spread at least 300 yards from the hog house to the empty barn, and that when Mount Olive Fire Department arrived, the hog house and barn had already burned to the ground.

"Our primary objective was to keep the fire from spreading into the woods any farther," Williams said. "We were very successful at that."

Williams said they were able to contain the fire in the wooded area because there was plenty of apparatus and manpower.

Firefighters also arrived from Oak Wolfe, Calypso and Faison.

"We appreciated all the help and assistance from all our neighboring department," Williams said. "We always work well together.