1000 hogs safe after fire causes confinement roof to collapse - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

1000 hogs safe after fire causes confinement roof to collapse

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WAUKON (KWWL) -

About a half a day after lightning struck a hog confinement, starting a fire that caused the roof to collapse, all 1,000 hogs inside have been safely moved.

Waukon Fire Chief Dave Martin says the fire is still under investigation, but they think lightning struck the roof of a hog confinement outside of Waukon around midnight.

The response was quick, and the fire was contained in a relatively short amount of time.

That quick response meant all the hogs inside the confinement escaped the fire unscathed.  But the fire meant a number of local families spent a large portion of their Labor Day helping to load the hogs onto trucks and to a Tyson's facility, which opened just to take these hogs in.  A number of truck drivers also sacrificed their holiday to help move the pigs.

"It could've been much worse," said Tim Becker, a field service representative that's familiar with the farm.

The task of moving that amount of pigs is a big deal on a normal day, Becker said.  But add in the fact that parts of the ceiling sit just two to three feet off the ground, and that makes it much more difficult, he added.

Martin says the way that roof was built had a lot to do with why the damage wasn't much more extensive.

"There was tin on the inside of the roof, instead of plastic like most barns," he said.  "The plastic would've gone up much quicker."

Despite all of that, all 1,000 hogs were loaded up and taken out before 2 p.m.  That's when family and friends gathered to enjoy lunch and breath a sigh of relief after a particularly laborious Labor Day.

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