Up to 2,000 pigs killed in fire on farm in Co Down

Firefighters were called to the blaze in Kilkeel on Monday night

Up to 2,000 pigs have died in a fire on a farm in Co Down.

Firefighters were called to the blaze in Kilkeel shortly before 9pm on Monday.

Four fire appliances attended the scene in Carrigenagh Road and worked to prevent the flames spreading from a shed housing the pigs to adjacent farm buildings.

Between 1,500 and 2,000 pigs are believed to have been killed.

One fire worker suffered minor burns to his feet in the incident. He was taken to hospital for treatment.

The fire, which is believed to have been accidental, was brought under control at around 11.50pm.

Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Assistant Group Commander Martin Healy said the fire was well developed when he and colleagues arrived on the scene.

“The firefighters worked in obviously very difficult conditions — in darkness and underfoot — to extinguish the fire,” he said.

“Actually we had to try to protect the other sheds as there’s a lot of other pigs housed in them and thankfully we were able to stop the fire spreading to those sheds.

“But unfortunately we were unable to save between 1,500 and 2,000 pigs within the shed the main blaze was contained in.”

He told BBC Radio Ulster the incident was a “very difficult scene to witness”.

“We spoke with the farm owner and obviously our sympathies go out to him and all his staff on the devastating loss and he said himself he was devastated for the loss that he did suffer.” – PA