posted on March 08, 2012 22:00
UPDATE (5:30pm) by Geoff Redick
An unknown number of baby pigs are dead, and dozens more may suffer climate-related illness, after a barn fire broke out Thursday afternoon on the Miller Farm in Darien.
Over 1,000 adult pigs and piglets were inside the barn when flames erupted around 1:30pm. A farm employee discovered the fire inside a nursery area of the barn and called 9-1-1.
Fire crews from Erie County, Wyoming County, and the southwestern-central portion of Genesee all responded for the three-alarm blaze. Challenges were abound, including heavy wind and rain, along with a mostly interior battle with the blaze. The pen-style housing for the animals was described as making the fight "difficult."
After the initial heavy flames were knocked down, fire crews worked to save dozens of piglets from a soaking-wet and burning nursery area. Firefighters pulled out dozens of young hogs, which were visibly covered in soot and very wet and cold in the damp conditions. One firefighter described the interior floor as a plastic floor "that melted right away," leaving the young pigs to literally swim in the water-filled pens.
WBTA News is told a number of hogs were killed, though it is unclear the extent of the livestock fatalities or how they were killed. Crews remained on-scene into the late afternoon, knocking down hot-spots and searching for more animals.
The displaced pigs were distributed to other barns on the property, and a number have been transported by truck to other area farms for climate-controlled housing.
The cause at this time is unclear, though the barns do have climate-control heaters throughout.
(Update 2:15pm) by Dan Fischer
Volunteer fire departments from three counties have converged on the Miller Farm at 9697 Ridge Road in the Town of Darien.
At least three connected buildings are involved with fire. Those buildings are reported to contain pigs. It is not known if any livestock has been harmed in the fire.
A total of eight fire departments from Genesee County have either been called to the scene or are assisting with stand-by duty. Fire companies from as far away as Akron in Erie County, and Attica and Bennington in Wyoming County have also been activated.