BONNETSVILLE — No cause was able to be found following investigation into an early-morning blaze last week that burned a hog house to the ground and claimed some 1,500 piglets inside, according to the Sampson County Fire Marshal’s Office.
Fire Marshal Jerry Cashwell confirmed as much Wednesday, a week after a fire erupted at Keith Butler Pig Farm, at 545 Brinson Lane, Clinton. The farm is located off Concord School Road, in close proximity to Roseboro Highway (N.C. 24). There were four hog house side by side along Brinson Lane, and the fire totaled one of the structures in the middle.
Seven fire units responded to last week’s fire, including six from Sampson County and another from Cumberland. The fire was reported around 5:45 a.m., Cashwell noted.
None of the other three hog houses on the property was reported damaged, and there were no human injuries reported, Cashwell said. Butler contracts with Prestage Farms, whose officials speculated following the fire that it could have been electrical in nature, originating from an issue with a feed or fan motor, possibly a heater.
Cashwell said that ultimately was not able to be confirmed.
“At the completion of the investigation, the cause was undetermined,” the fire marshal remarked.
Headquartered in Sampson County, Prestage Farms produces in excess of one billion pounds of pork and poultry each year, growing its corporate base in North Carolina by expanding its pork division into Mississippi, South Carolina, Iowa and Oklahoma and its Turkey division into South Carolina. Prestage contracts with around 450 farm families, including Butler’s.
All told, company officials estimated losses of about $300,000 as a result of the Brinson Lane fire, including the pigs at nearly $100,000 and the structure at another $200,000.
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