A horrific fire at a hog farm near Jasper, Minn., turned tragic after two workers were killed in the blaze.
According to Keloland TV, first responders were called to the scene at New Horizon Farms of Pipestone just before 9:30 Monday morning. Crews from five fire departments responded; however, despite their best efforts, two workers were killed as a result of the fire.
The victims were identified as 50-year old Sharla Drew and 32-year old Kristy Giesler. Both were pressure washing inside a hog barn when it ignited. The Rock County (Minn.) Star Herald adds one of the women was a New Horizon worker and the other a contract employee.
The barn typically holds 2,500 animals, but no hogs were inside the barn at the time of the blaze.
The fire is currently being investigated by the Minnesota State Fire Marshall.
Last year, a similar fire in Iowa severely burned Leon Sheets, a past president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, as he power-washed one of his hog barns. He suffered second- and third-degree burns over more than 20 percent of his body. Click here for more.
Sheets spoke with the National Pork Board recently to reflect on the lessons he learned from the flash fire.
“It’s easy to let your guard down,” Sheets said. “Farmers need to be careful whether they are pumping, power washing or doing maintenance. When it comes to accidents, we want no more, nobody else.”