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Boy, 11, rescues dozens of pigs from fire


The quick thinking of an 11-year-old boy saved nearly 60 pigs at Moss Neck Farm in Caroline County this week.

A fire believed to have been caused by heat lamps broke out Monday afternoon in a barn on the property that housed the pigs.

Daniel Fitzgerald, 11, lives on the property with his parents, brother and sister. His father, Tony Fitzgerald, is the caretaker of the 1,200-acre property, 580 acres of which are agricultural and fields.

When Daniel’s mom, Adalia, spotted the fire, Daniel took off running for the barn and opened all of the pens to free the pigs, said Chris Golden, vice president of commercial construction for The Silver Cos., which owns the land.

“It was truly a stroke of luck that that boy thought as quickly as he did,” Golden said.

The 40- by 100-foot wooden barn housed seven mother pigs and about 55 piglets, Golden said. All but three piglets made it out safely, he said.

The pigs that survived were relocated to a bigger pen the next morning.

The family has lived on the farm for six years. The farm also has dairy cows, horses, sheep and goats.

Golden said the three children help their dad with the farm work when they are not in school. He said the family has taken special care of the piglets, nursing them back to health in their home when they aren’t well.

“If they would not have been so involved with their dad, he would not have had the wherewithal [to save them],” Golden said.

Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413

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