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Barn Fire Kills Thousands Of Animals, Workers Devastated

TRUMAN, Minn. (WCCO) -- Thousands of animals have died in a massive fire in southern Minnesota.

The fire broke out Saturday afternoon just after 3 p.m. at the Cougar Run Farm, near the town of Truman.

"This is really hard for us right now," Cougar Run employee Kaycee Gebhart said. "A truck is replaceable, barns are replaceable, but these hogs are our livelihood and we cared for them every day."

Roughly 50 percent of the hog farm was destroyed by the fire, that took the help of 10 responding agencies from across Martin County to get under control.

"When we first arrived it was just in the middle barn," Truman Fire Dept. Captain Jake Ebert said. "It spread so quickly."

Crews battled the blaze for nearly four hours, and stayed long after to monitor the site for hot spots.

"It takes a lot of water to fight a fire like this, when we got on scene it was roaring pretty good," Truman Fire Chief Dave Bentz said.

No employees were hurt in the incident, but roughly 4,000 sows and 6,000-7,000 piglets were killed.

"They were more than just livestock to us," Gebhart said.

Pipestone System owns the farm. The company plans to rebuild, even though some things can't be replaced.

"When we have a livestock loss like this, we lost a lot of animals so the owners of this farm will regroup and start over," Pipestone System CEO Luke Minion said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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