Herald JournalHerald Journal, Jan. 20, 2003

Fire destroys barn, 25 hogs

By Lynda Jensen

Fire once again caused dismay to the Jeff Long family, as a hog barn was consumed by flames northeast of Howard Lake Monday evening.

The barn fire killed 25 feeder pigs, which is about half of the Longs' herd, said Jeff's wife, Ginny.

The fire might have been caused by faulty wiring next to the hay, but they are not entirely certain what caused the fire, Ginny said.

They are not insured for the loss.

Previously, the Longs' home was completely destroyed by fire Feb. 10, 1995.

When the fire started, Jeff was in the barn with his son John, 12, doing chores, according to a report from the Wright County Sheriff.

They had just finished moving about seven or eight sows into a different barn when the flames started, relative David Sale said.

Jeff's son, John, 12, witnessed a spark that appeared to start in the hay on the second floor, said his sister Mindy, 10.

Trying to get the feeder pigs out was nearly impossible, because they kept running back into the burning building and refused to come out, said relative Travis Remer.

Remer remembered one in particular that he tried to coax out the door, but it went screaming back into the barn, he said.

In fact, the Longs had to endure more than an hour of screaming from the pigs, Ginny said.

The fire caused heat damage to siding on the house, Ginny said.

Jeff reported that it was possible the hay was too wet and might have caused spontaneous combustion, according to the police report.

The Longs raised the pigs as part of a hobby farm operation. Jeff works as a carpenter full time.


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