Fire fighters from the South Montgomery County Fire Department were notified around 9:45 pm Tuesday night of a fire in the Conroe Independent School District’s swine barn, located on Pruitt Road in south Montgomery County. Fire fighters arrived on scene in just a few moments only to find the 100 foot long barn engulfed with fire. The barn belonged to the CISD agriculture program and housed seventeen show hogs that belonged to high school students from The Woodlands High School and College Park High School. All seventeen show hogs perished in the fire. Some of the hogs were scheduled to be shown this weekend in San Antonio as well as the upcoming Montgomery County Fair in April.
Investigators from the Montgomery County Fire Marshal’s Office were assisted by agents with Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) as well as CISD Police Department officers in the investigation. After spending Wednesday morning combing through the burned out barn, Investigators concluded that the cause of the fire was a heat lamp, commonly used in barns to keep animals warm. One of the heat lamps came in contact with the materials used for the animal bedding, such as hay or straw, wood chips or sawdust, causing the animal bedding to ignite. The open sides of the barn, along with the stiff winds Tuesday night, allowed the fire to spread quickly.
Firefighters braved below freezing temperatures, as well as no fire hydrants in the area to battle the blaze, which took about 3 hours to bring completely under control. Several other area fire departments assisted with this fire as well.
The barn and the animals are all paid for by the agriculture students. A bank fund has been set up to assist these high school students with the loss of their show animals. Please contact CISD administration and the AG teachers for further details.