Updated: Monday, 3:37 p.m.
An electrical malfunction was to blame for a blaze that engulfed a barn with hundreds feeder pigs inside late Saturday night in eastern Geary County.
A press release from Geary County Emergency Services Monday said that was the likely cause following an investigation by the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office.
The number of pigs killed in the fire was determined to be 518 — down from initial estimates of approximately 700. They were owned by F & R Swine of Dwight, Kansas, and were being housed and cared for on 10467 Humboldt Creek Road.
Altogether, the pigs were valued at $30,000 with the building valued at $200,000. According to authorities, the property owner will be working with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to dispose of the remains.
The fire was brought under control at approximately 30 minutes after midnight Saturday with crews remaining on scene until 9:30 on Sunday morning monitoring the smoldering remains.
Eight Geary County Fire units along with two support vehicles responded to the scene. Water support from Fort Riley Fire, Riley County Fire and Grandview Plaza Fire was requested and received. There were 20 Geary County firefighters and 12 firefighters from the mutual aid partners working the fire scene.
Firefighters were able to protect an adjoining pig barn that housed an additional 700 pigs and two propane tanks that were in the immediate area.
The building was owned by Phillip Goodyear.