(La Porte County, IN) - About a dozen hogs died in a fully engulfed barn fire Tuesday night near Rolling Prairie. Firefighters after 11 p.m. responded to a small farm belonging to Kenneth Hunt in the 6800 block of East 300 North.
“It was a total loss,” said Kankakee Township Fire Chief Chip Winters.
Winters said the barn, roughly 60 feet long and 30 feet wide, was serviced by electricity running from the house. He said some type of electrical issue could have started the fire but the cause will be left up to Hunt’s insurance company to try and determine.
Hunt told investigators he plugged in a submersible heater that night to keep water in a trough the hogs inside the barn drank out of from freezing.
“It could have been that or something else. We don’t know,” Winters said.
At some point, a breaker switch in the house attached to the electrical wiring that led to the barn was tripped. Firefighters from Lincoln, Pleasant, and Springfield townships helped put out the blaze. Winters noted further that the barn was small but outside assistance was needed to provide enough tanker trucks with water to put out flames embedded in the hay and wood stored inside the structure. The barn also contained a sawmill Hunt used to cut logs into lumber.
“He cut his own wood for building,” he said.
Winters said he was not aware of any hogs that survived the fire, which took about three hours to completely extinguish.