2,000 pigs die in Ontario barn fire

A barn fire in southwestern Ontario has left at least 2,000 pigs dead, prompting calls for changes to fire codes.

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The early-morning fire broke out at a barn in the town of Parkhill, located about 50 kilometres northwest of London, Ont., at about 3 a.m. Tuesday, police said.

OPP said the Middlesex County Fire Investigator is probing the cause of the fire, which is not considered suspicious.

Ontario Federation of Agriculture President Don McCabe said cold weather can strain heaters and wiring, which may have been a factor in this and other recent barn fires.

McCabe said there is no requirement for sprinklers or smoke detectors, but insurance is recommended.

Fire Chief Bill Hunter, whose West Perth, Ont., department responded to Tuesday’s fire, said barn blazes can be difficult to put out because fire codes don’t require a water supply nearby.

“In the rural communities obviously we don’t have fire hydrants so we have to truck all of the water to the scene,” he said.

Hunter said farmers should “step back and take a look at the investment they have in livestock and equipment.”

The latest incident follows a string of fires at farms throughout Ontario and prompted local officials in Middlesex County to urge farm owners Tuesday to check their properties for fire hazards.

About 500 goats and 30 cattle died after a fire broke out at farm outside of London, Ont. over the weekend.

On Friday, 12 horses died in a barn fire outside of Mount Forest, Ont..

A massive fire near Puslinch, Ont. claimed the lives of 43 race horses two weeks ago.

With a report from CTV Kitchener and files from The Canadian Press


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