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Piglets Die in Fairgrounds Fire

January 16, 1998|JOHN CANALIS

Three piglets perished in a fire Thursday at the Orange County Fairgrounds and animal pens at the Centennial Farm sustained $2,500 in damage, fair officials said.

A maintenance worker spotted smoke and fire at 5:50 a.m. and reported it to the Costa Mesa Fire Department, which sent crews from a station across the street, said Stacy Brown-Martinis, a spokeswoman for the fairgrounds.

"The mother pig was able to jump over the pen and get out," Brown-Martinis said. "Mother pigs cannot carry baby pigs, so she was unable to save any of her piglets."

The sow, named Princess, is 3 years old. The piglets were 3 weeks old.

The fire started when the piglets pushed straw and shavings against a heat lamp, fire officials said.

No people or other animals were injured. The pen walls and lighting fixtures that were damaged will be replaced.

This is the first blaze at the farm, built in 1989. The fairgrounds last suffered a major blaze when the equestrian center caught fire in 1975 and 14 horses died, said Jill Lloyd, head spokeswoman for the fairgrounds.

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