Storms cause fires across Netherlands; thousands of pigs die in flames

Fires caused by lightning strikes kept the fire departments busy in a number of places throughout the Netherlands on Thursday night.

In Ootmarsun, Twente about 2 thousand pigs died in a barn fire, the Telegraaf reports. The fire started around 1:30 a.m. on Friday and was under control around 3:00 a.m. The firefighters could not get inside to rescue the animals, but did manage to keep the fire from spreading into the adjacent barns. Nothing is left of the barn with the pigs.

There were also several fires in Gelderland. A farmhouse in Bennekom burned down. And a house in Twello caught fire. A neighbor heard the crack of lightning and managed to get the two residents out of the house safely, the fire department told the newspaper.

A farm in Kallenkote near Steenwijk also caught fire. The fire spread to the stables, but firefighters managed to rescue the 150 cows housed in them. Asbestos was released in the fire and residents were advised to keep their doors and windows closed.

In Marum, Groningen a fire broke out in a barn on a cattle farm. One of the 19 calves housed in the barn died. The building of the DUO, the executive agency for the central government of education in the city of Groningen, also caught fire.

The various fire departments believe that all these fires were caused by lightning strikes.