Fire at Minnesota Swine Farm Kills 11,000 Animals

Fire at Minnesota Swine Farm Kills 11,000 Animals

Rebuilding a huge swine farm in southern Minnesota where thousands of sows and piglets died in a weekend fire could take as long as a year, according to the operation's managers.

The massive blaze, which broke out Saturday afternoon at Cougar Run Farm near Truman, killed 11,000 sows and piglets, according to Pipestone System CEO Luke Minion. The cause is under investigation.

"We're trying to figure that out with the assistance of the fire marshal," Minion said.

Once investigators clear the site, the rebuilding process will begin, he said.

"We've got a lot of work to do. A farm this size is going to take seven months (to rebuild). It could be a year before producers can get back to normal pig flow," Minion said.

Firefighters from 10 agencies battled the fire for hours and returned Sunday to check hot spots, Truman fire officials said.

Some 4,000 sows and 6,000 to 7,000 piglets were killed and about 1,300 sows were saved, according to Minion. A second Cougar Run operation with 2,800 sows about a mile away was not affected. Together they employ about two dozen people, none of whom were injured in the fire.

Minion said 12 independent producers own the farrowing operation in Martin County.

The Truman Fire Department said in a statement that early estimates place fire damage in the multi-millions of dollars.

Back to news


Spell Check

Bakersfield, CA
10/31/2014 11:20 AM

  I am curious to know what the cause of this blaze was. I will withhold judgement until a determination is made. However, there will be a huge backlash should Animal Rights Extremists be at the center of this.

CeCe O'Greene
Jefferson, IA
1/10/2017 01:48 PM

  Saw on Facebook -- printed from here and found the first comment to be quite surprising. The amount of methane put into the air from the manure pit's contents is extremely explosive and concentrations can kill a man in minutes .... think of what the poor pigs endure. Sub-zero weather conditions, winds and blizzard conditions are hard on the electrical components that keep the ventilation systems working. Not saying that's what happened, just a possible explanation for what looks to be an enveloping fire!! With the current sub-zero weather and a "rash" of known CAFO fires (3 in as many weeks have come to my attention - one simply a building, the other two involving substantial amounts of stock) and the recent arson Alford plea of a Pizza Ranch by the owner due to his terrific debt and inability to sell enough pizza to pay his substantial expenses .... my mind had gone to "keep the pigs warm" efforts gone astray first and then to "let the insurance help with the debt" second .... I hadn't thought activists -- many of whom would be totally sympathetic with the pigs ..... not the CAFO owner ... in this tragic loss. CeCe

Minneapolis, MN
2/27/2016 01:35 PM

  These farms are inhumane, horribly risky (on many levels) and unsustainable. I would never allow them to rebuild. Also, JLKA's "animal rights extremist" insinuation is not appreciated.