Hundreds of pigs were feared to have been burned alive early Tuesday after a blaze engulfed the barn where they were housed at Fenes, not far from Bodø in Northern Norway. Veterinarians needed to determine whether an estimated 300 pigs that survived would also need to be slaughtered because of smoke inhalation and stress.
State broadcaster NRK described the scene at the farm as “chaotic,” as efforts were also underway to prevent the fire from spreading to other farm buildings that contained cattle. Firefighters opted to keep the cattle inside their barn instead of releasing them into the farmyard, claiming that would add to the chaos.
There was also a shortage of water to fight the fire, and local civil defense teams were called out to help pump water up from a nearby pond. Tank trucks, meanwhile, were shuttling to and from the site. “This is a major fire and it’s taking time to gain control over it,” police operations leader Ivar Bo Nilsson told NRK.
Alarms rang at 3:23am. When the first emergency crews arrived at 3:35am, smoke was pouring out of the barn and there were no sounds from the nearly 600 pigs inside. Police feared all had been killed but by mid-morning, they believed around half had survived. An investigation into the blaze was underway, with the farm owner due to undergo questioning.