Cost damage is estimated to be around a half million dollars following a fire at a hog confinement facility northeast of Rochelle early Friday morning.
The blaze was noticed by some deer hunters a short time before 6am at 1957 South Mulford Road, about 1 1/2 miles south of Route 64 at Huftalin Farms. The 12 acre property is owned by Hufco LLC in Malta.
Rochelle Fire Chief Brian Johnson said that the facility had 3 bays where the hogs stayed. The fire started in the South bay. It then spread into the middle bay.
Firefighters were able to stop the flames from damaging the 3rd building.
Johnson said that there were around 2,500 hogs at the facility. An estimated 1,000 died in the fire.
A total of 11 area fire departments along with 65 firemen were on the scene battling the flames. Area farmers were also in the field trying to save the hogs at the facility.
The cause appears to be from a malfunction of a heater. Chief Johnson along with the State Fire Marshall's office plan to tour the hog confinement facility on Monday to determine the exact cause of the blaze.
No one suffered any injuries. The hogs were taken to area farms following the fire.