Fire-truckOfficials say 131 piglets and 10 sows were killed when a hog confinement caught fire near Mediapolis over the holiday.

The fire was first reported at the Nelson Brothers Farm, northwest of Mediapolis, around 2:45 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Mediapolis Fire Chief Jeff Kerr says the pigs died as a result of smoke inhalation.

“It was an exhaust fan that had shorted out or locked up and started on fire and burned down the side of the building,” he says.

Around 30 firefighters fought the blaze, which was extinguished quickly. Around 30 sows and 300 piglets survived the fire. The dollar estimate for the lost hogs is about $25,000, and the fire caused about $45,000 in damage to the building.

(Reporting by Rob Sussman, KBUR, Burlington)