The exact cause of a fire that did an estimated half million dollars worth of damage at a hog confinement facility northeast of Rochelle on Friday may be known today.
The blaze was noticed by some deer hunters a short time before 6am at 1957 South Mulford Road, about 1 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 has 3 bays where the hogs were kept. The fire started in the South bay and spread to the middle facility. Firefighters were able to stop the flames from damaging the 3rd bay.
It appears that the fire started from a heater which had malfunctioned at the facility. Chief Johnson along with the State's Fire Marshall's office plan to return to the area today for further investigation into the exact cause of the incident. Johnson said that it was an accident.
A total of 11 area fire departments along with around 65 firemen were on the scene Friday along with numerous area farmers. No one suffered any injuries.
The hog confinement facility had around 2,500 animals. An estimated 1,000 hogs were killed in the fire.