Second Fire in a Year Injures Three People at Straathof Swine Farm

In June 2018, an estimated 5,000 pigs died in a barn fire at the same location as the April 30, 2019 fire. ( Fayette County Sheriff's Office )

A fire injured three construction workers and destroyed a hog barn in Ohio on Tuesday at the Straathof Swine Farm facility in Fayette County’s Wayne Township for the second time in less than a year. 

The massive fire began shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday, injuring three construction workers who were transported by medical helicopter to OSU Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. 

Six fire departments from Fayette County and others from neighboring counties, including a water tanker and pumper from Greene County, were dispatched to the fire. approximately 45,000 gallons of water were shuttled in to extinguish the fire.

Last June, a fire destroyed two buildings at the Straathof Swine Farm, killing approximately 5,000 hogs. On Tuesday, one of the two buildings under reconstruction on the very same site was destroyed in the fire and approximately 180 hogs perished, The Times Gazette reported.

“The building that was destroyed just received its first delivery of hogs,” said Fayette County Sherfiff Vernon Stanforth. “It’s my understanding it was a smaller number that were lost. They weren’t able to get them out.”

Investigators from the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office were on the scene. 

“The cause of the fire is currently undetermined, but our investigators are on the scene (Wednesday) working to establish an area of origin,” said Chief Josh Hobbs of the Fire and Explosion Investigation Bureau. “This was a very large fire, so it’s going to be quite time-consuming to get to the bottom of it.”

Firefighters helped prevent the fire from spreading to the second building. 

“The severity of the fire was just as significant as the fire from last year,” Stanforth said. “But this time, they were able to save one building and the loss of livestock was on a much smaller scale this time.”

Fayette County Emergency Management Agency Director Melissa Havens said more information should be available on Wednesday.

Extensive clean-up efforts were required following the June 19 fire. The environmental staff at Fayette County Public Health said that during clean-up, crews were taking every possible measure to reduce odor, dust, insects and air quality control.


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