FIRE at big Utah hog farm destroys 12,000 pigs; damage estimated at more than $4 million

Monday, July 30th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

CEDAR CITY, Utah (AP) _ A fire destroyed three buildings at a large hog farm, killing 12,000 pigs.

Circle Four Farms spokesman Brian Mauldwin put the losses at approximately $3.3 million for the buildings and $1 million for lost livestock in the blaze Sunday. The farm is about 200 miles southwest of Salt Lake City.

No employees or firefighters were injured. The cause was under investigation.

Cedar City Fire Chief Clint Neilsen said it was the worst industrial fire he has ever seen.

``There are three big buildings out here that are a total loss and many, many pigs dead,'' Neilsen said. ``It's not pretty.''

Mauldwin said there were about 6,500 mature pigs and 5,500 piglets in the facility. Twenty employees work at the farm.

``This is catastrophic,'' Mauldwin said. ``It will send a gaping hole through our production system. It's awful in every way except one, and that is nobody was injured, thank goodness.''

Circle Four Farms, one of the largest industrial hog farming operations in the United States, has several such complexes in Iron and Beaver counties. The company produced 850,000 market hogs last year.