Hundreds of pigs rescued from barn fire in Fulton County

Published: Mar. 7, 2022 at 5:49 PM EST
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CHESTERFIELD TWP., Ohio (WTVG) - More than 600 piglets are alive after being rescued from a barn fire Thursday in Fulton County.

The flames broke out March 3, 2022 at a commercial pig farm on County Road 16 in Chesterfield Twp.

“When we arrived on scene, there was a lot of black smoke showing and hundreds of hogs running everywhere,” said interim chief Tom Franks, with the Gorham-Fayette Fire Department.

Franks said they were called out to assist Wauseon and Morenci Fire Departments with battling the flames and trying to save as many pigs as possible.

“They were all coming out and running everywhere, which are hampering your attached on the fire,” explained Franks. “We have to come up and think out of he box and that’s how we come up with the porta tank.”

Portable tanks can hold about 2,000 gallons of water and are typically used in rural areas that do not have close to fire hydrants. In this case, Franks says the tanks were not filled with water, but with pigs.

“Our tank wasn’t getting used that day, so that’s when we thought out-of-the-box to put the pigs in there to get them out of the cold weather and corral them so they weren’t running around,” he said.

Cooper Stambaugh, 14, who lives nearby, has raised pigs for six years. He says when he heard about the fire he wanted to help, so he called his dad Nick Stambaugh.

“We hooked up the truck and trailer and went up there and started helping,” Stambaugh said.

Once on scene, they assisted firefighters with moving the pigs to a safe location.

“They were pulling pigs out of the barn and handing them off to me,” said Stambaugh. “We handed them to other people who put them in wagons and could take them to other barns were it was warmer.”

Authorities say out of the 780 pigs inside the barn, more than 600 were saved.

“When somebody is in trouble we all pull together and help each other,” said Nick Stambaugh. “I’d want it in return if it was our facility.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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