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Barn blaze kills 150 pigs near Lismore

LISMORE — Approximately 150 pigs were killed in an early morning barn fire Thursday northwest of Lismore.

The destruction was discovered by Jeff Tweet when he went to do chores at the site. He immediately notified law enforcement, and the Lismore Fire Department was dispatched to the scene at about 7:30 a.m. By then, there were no flames visible from the barn.

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“I came and did chores and she was pretty much over with,” said Tweet, adding that a neighbor said he’d heard a dog barking about 3 a.m., and that may have been when the fire was active.

The barn housed roughly 600 pigs of 100 to 150 pounds. Those that survived were found underneath the collapsed roof, protected by the steel gates that made up their pens.

“I don’t know why so many lived,” Tweet said, amazed that it wasn’t worse.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, they used their water hoses to help cool down the surviving pigs.

“We got an excavator in there and pulled the ceiling tin off and got the hogs out,” said Lismore Fire Chief Jim Weidert. “Once we got the roof off, it was better.”

With multiple barns on the site at 13943 160th St., Tweet said they were fortunate the fire didn’t spread to any of the others. The surviving pigs were transported to other barns.

Fifteen firefighters responded to the fire from the Lismore Department. They remained on the scene for about three hours, Weidert said. He said the cause of the fire is believed to be electrical.

“I’d like to thank the local fire department and the whole community for reaching out and helping us this morning,” Tweet said. “It’s just nice to live in a small community where everyone helps out.”

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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