FAYETTE CO. — In the initial stages of an investigation into Tuesday’s enormous hog farm facility fire in Wayne Township that killed approximately 5,000 swine, authorities said Wednesday they do not suspect foul play, the origin of the fire was likely the utility room, and the cause is still undetermined.
“Right now, everything is still under investigation and undetermined at this point,” said Kelly Stincer, public information officer with the State Fire Marshal’s Office. “However, our investigators can say that they do not suspect any foul play involved in this.”
Stincer said investigators would be returning to the scene, located at 7111 Old Route 35 Southeast. The Straathof Swine Farm facility was completely destroyed, authorities said.
Although the fire was under control shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday, steam and smoke will be emanating from the rubble for some time, according to the Wayne Township Fire Department.
Throughout the day Tuesday firefighters from five counties battled the blaze, which was reported to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office at 1:08 p.m. Tuesday.
The first crew to arrive at the scene consisted of four individuals from the Washington C.H. Fire Department, including fire chief Tom Youtz. Youtz suffered a hand injury as the crew approached the smoke and fire coming from the center of the facility, which was described as the utility room.
“My hand was pinched in a kink in the hose when they hit the pressure on the hose,” Youtz said Wednesday. “I just didn’t get my hand out of the way in time. It felt like it was broken, but at the hospital they said they didn’t think it was. It’s very swollen, but I’m going to be fine.”
Fayette County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Andy Bivens drove Youtz to Fayette County Memorial Hospital for treatment Tuesday. Bivens also said smoke and fire appeared to originate in the utility room and then quickly spread to other areas of the facility.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica