The blaze broke out Sunday night and was contained early this morning. Fairbury Rural Fire Chief Kenny Krause says upwards of 200 firefighters helped fight the blaze.
“It took several hours,” Chief Krause says. “We probably agressively faught fire for a solid three to four hours.”
Upon arrival, four buildings were engulfed in flames. Krause says the embers were mostly extinguished by 2 AM. The blaze destroyed several buildings at the hog confinement operation, a major employer in Jefferson County.
“Four buildings were totally destroyed and there’s two additional buildings that had smoke damage inside of them and the livestock inside didn’t make it through that smoke,” he says. There are six remaining buildings at the site and a nearby residence which was not damaged.
Thick smoke could be seen for several miles and firefighters ran low on water, fighting the flames.
Authorities said some hogs died in the fire and smoke, but an exact number is not known. Krause says several agencies helped battle the fire and provide support, including more than two dozen fire departments, law enforcement agencies, ambulances and the Red Cross.
The cause of the fire and the estimated damage are not yet known. There were no injuries to firefighters.
By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice