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Fire heavily damages rural Olivia hog barn

OLIVIA -- A fire Thursday night heavily damaged a hog barn and killed a few hogs at a farm located on U.S. Highway 71, about two miles south of the Kandiyohi County-Renville County line.

The Olivia Fire Department was called at about 9 p.m. and firefighters found the front 30 feet of the barn engulfed in fire and smoke, said Olivia Assistant Fire Chief Aaron Thompson. Thompson said he thinks the fire was caused by sparks from power lines that were cut when the roof collapsed from the weight of snow.

Thompson said firefighters arriving on the scene saw electrical sparks and had to get the power turned off before they could fight the fire. He said some hogs in the front of the barn were killed but most survived.

Firefighters were on the scene for two hours. No one was injured. Olivia received assistance from the Danube Fire Department, which provided manpower and hauled water.

Thompson said waist-deep snow on both sides of the building made wearing gear and dragging fire hoses difficult.

"The guys had to work pretty hard,'' he said.