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1,500 piglets die in Sampson County barn fire

Posted January 6

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— Officials don't yet know the cause of a fire at a pig barn in Sampson County on Wednesday morning that killed 1,500 piglets.

The fire was reported around 6:30 a.m. The farm, Keith Butler Farms, is privately owned and operated but raises pigs for Prestage Farms.

Zack McMullen, with Prestage Farms, said he believes the fire was caused by some type of electrical problem - from a feed motor, a fan motor or a heater.

The company, one of the largest family-owned poultry and hog operations in the state, said the fire has created a huge financial loss.

"If you look at the dollars and cents...the loss of the pigs is probably about $90,000, and the cost of the building is about $200,000...and then cleanup and things like that," McMullen said.

The hog house that burned was one of four on the property.


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