Officials say nearly 2,000 pigs died in a fire near Melvin in northwest Iowa.

Melvin Fire Chief Steve Heitritter told Sioux City television station KTIV that fire crews were called to the hog confinement operation at 6:30 a.m. Sunday and stayed on the scene until noon. Heitritter estimates that more than 1,800 pigs died.

He says the fire likely was caused by an electric problem in a small building that connects two larger confinement buildings. No dollar estimate of the damage was provided.

The National Pork Board provides the following fire prevention checklist:

Fire Safety
 
1. Are fire extinguishers placed every 75 feet in your operation?
 
2. Are fire extinguishers checked periodically to ensure they are functioning?
 
3. Are fire extinguishers checked annually by properly trained service personnel?
 
4. Do your employees know how to properly use a fire extinguisher?
 
5. Are all flammable materials stored in a fire proof storage unit?
 
6. Are heaters functioning in a safe manner?
 
7. Is your electrical system installed to comply with Article 547 of the National Electric Code?
 
8. Are weeds and grass kept mowed within 20 feet of your building on all sides?
 
9. Is your local fire department aware of the location of hazardous materials or areas on your operation?
 
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Source: The Associated Press, NPB