Pot-bellied pigs die in shed fire

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Kootenai County Fire and Rescue Lt. Bryon Smith tends to a shop fire in Post Falls that killed four pot-bellied pigs inside. Kootenai County Fire and Rescue Lt. Bryon Smith tends to a shop fire in Post Falls that killed four pot-bellied pigs inside.

POST FALLS - A fire that destroyed a shed in Post Falls on Wednesday killed four of the 15 pot-bellied pigs inside.

The 25-by-30-foot shop in the 9300 block of Driftwood Drive and its contents were a total loss, said Kootenai County and Fire Rescue Chief Warren Merritt.

"The value of the loss is undetermined," he said.

While the exact cause of the fire is undetermined, firefighters believe it was the result of combustibles being too close to a heat lamp, Merritt said.

"The investigators speculate that the pot-bellied pigs may have dislodged a plastic shelter and pushed it up against a heat lamp," Merritt said.

Yard and shop tools were among other contents inside the shed. There were no injuries.

Dispatchers received calls from neighbors just after 9 a.m. that a shed adjacent to two homes was on fire.

"It was reported that flames were visible at the time of dispatch," Merritt said. "When the first unit arrived about 9 minutes later, they discovered the shop fully engulfed in fire with two adjacent and occupied homes within 25 to 30 feet." Merritt said.

Due to the large smoke column, a second alarm was requested for assistance from the Northern Lakes and Coeur d'Alene fire departments.

"Quick action by the fire crews kept the damage to a minimum," said Merritt, adding that there was also minor damage to a fence and the vinyl siding on the homes.

"Once fire attack lines were put into place, the additional resources were not needed and were canceled."

Fire crews remained on scene nearly three hours.

Coeur d'Alene staffed KCFR Station 1 to help cover subsequent emergency calls until a KCFR crew became available.

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