UPDATE: 3,700 pigs die in Hardwick farrowing facility fire Sunday night

HARDWICK – Approximately 3,700 pigs died Sunday night during a fire at a hog farrowing facility northwest of Hardwick, according to information from the Rock County Sheriff’s Office and New Horizons Farms.

The facility, one of five farrowing operations owned by New Horizons Farms, is located at the intersection of 221st Street and 90th Avenue. Managing Partner Bob Taubert said it appears to be a total loss, with sows and piglets perishing in the blaze.

The extreme temperatures and high winds on the coldest day in recent history created numerous problems for the eight departments called in to battle the fire at approximately 9:30 p.m. Sunday. No one was on site when the fire started, and no firefighters were hurt in the blaze.

At this time the cause of the fire has not been determined. NHF is working closely with authorities and their insurance company to determine the cause of the fire and to clean up the site.

The facility represents about 20 percent of hog production for NHF, according to Taubert, and will rebuild as soon as possible. Ten employees worked at the farm and NHF is working to reassign those employees during the rebuilding process.

Taubert thanked the firefighters for their efforts, stating “It was just an impossible night and we appreciate their efforts to fight the fire.”

Departments fighting the blaze included Edgerton, Hardwick, Jasper, Luverne, Beaver Creek, Hills and Pipestone in Minnesota and Garretson in South Dakota. The Rock County Ambulance also responded.

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