Flashover Pit Fire Causes Substantial Damage To Hog Confinement

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A hog confinement was damaged in a fire on Thursday, August 13, 2020, near Rock Rapids.

According to Rock Rapids Fire Chief Ed Reck, about 2:20 p.m., the Rock Rapids Fire Department was called to the report of a hog confinement pit on fire at 3456 190th Street, four miles east and four south of Rock Rapids, or a little less than a mile southwest of Edna.

The chief says it was more of a flashover fire. He says the owner was doing some maintenance in the building, and a spark got into the liquid manure pit, where there are flammable gasses. He says it “flashed violently.” Reck tells us the owner escaped OK, and his quick thinking may have saved the facility from worse damage. He says there is a soaker system in place in the facility to aid with wash out when they prepare for a new load of pigs. He says the owner turned the soaker system and the fans on, which took care of the fire. But Reck says there was substantial damage to the building, especially to many plastic parts, which melted in the intense heat.

Reck says no injuries were reported, and the building didn’t have any pigs in it at the time.

The George Fire Department was also paged as a precaution, but Chief Reck says he called them while they were still en-route to tell them to disregard once the Rock Rapids department knew what they were dealing with.

Reck says the Rock Rapids firefighters didn’t use any water at all, but they did put on air packs and check the facility over with thermal imaging cameras to make sure there were no hot or smoldering spots in the walls or anywhere else.

He says the firefighters who responded were on the scene for about a half an hour.


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