W. Cocalico fire claims hundreds of hogs’ lives

By on March 21, 2012

Even after 400 hogs were rescued, it is believed that several hundred more died during a Monday night barn blaze in West Cocalico Township.

As previously published in the Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era, Reinholds Fire Chief Kent Reich stated that fire crews were called to the farm owned by Lebanon-based Hibred Corporation at 8:50 a.m. after an employee discovered a fire in a mechanical room that links two 50-by-200-foot barns.

Reich said when he arrived, fire and heavy smoke were visible in the western ends of both structures. It took crews four hours to get the fire under control as employees worked to remove the hogs.

The fire chief said that firefighters cut holes in the roof of the metal structures to try to get ahead of the aggressive flames. The fire traveled the length of the barns through an attic space, feeding off the barns’ wooden trusses. It was difficult for the firefighters to control the blaze.

The estimated damage is $1 million. Reich said it is likely that the barns will be torn down even though they were not leveled by the fire.

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