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Hog barn explosion, fire

By Staff | Oct 11, 2020

Firefighters work on extinguishing the fire on one of the hog barns at the Becker farm.

The Blue Earth Fire Department responded to not just one call at a hog barn fire at a farm north of Blue Earth on Sunday, Oct. 4, but responded to a second call later in the day.

The first call came in at 12:38 p.m. when the department responded to a hog barn fire at the farm of Mike and Tara Becker at 39937 155th St.

When fire fighters arrived on the scene the hog barn was fully engulfed in flames, according to a report from the Blue Earth Fire Department. No people or animals were inside the barn at the time of the fire.

At 4 p.m. the fire fighters left the scene, but then were called back at 4:47 p.m. to the same farm.

When the firefighters arrived on the scene a second barn was fully engulfed in flames as the result of an explosion.

This time hogs had been inside the barn at the time of the explosion and fire.

Blue Earth fire chief Roger Davis reported the fires were difficult to contain as they spread between the metal roof and the inside ceiling of the buildings.

Firefighters were on the scene until 9 p.m.

Both fires at the farm are still under investigation by the State Fire Marshall’s Office and the Faribault County Sheriff’s Office. One possible cause being investigated, according to chief Davis, is manure foam, which can turn into fire and explosion. When foaming, methane gas bubbles rise up from the manure stored in a deep pit and when it comes in contact with a spark from something, can explode.

Assisting the Blue Earth Fire Department were the Winnebago Fire Department, Delavan Fire Department, Easton Fire Department, Elmore Fire Department, Frost Fire Department, Bricelyn Fire Department, Blue Earth UHD Ambulance, Winnebago Ambulance Service and the Faribault County Sheriff’s Office.