Pig poops out a pedometer, starts a fire

A swallowed pedometer sparked more than indigestion for a pig in the U.K.
A swallowed pedometer sparked more than indigestion for a pig in the U.K. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

A fire on a farm in northern England was accidentally set ... by one of the pigs.

The firebug (firehog?) had swallowed a pedometer worn by one of its fellow pigs to demonstrate that the animals were free range, the BBC reported

But after the pig excreted the pedometer, copper in its battery sparked a flame in the pig dung and dried hay bedding on March 7 at approximately 2 p.m. local time, according to the BBC. The fire spread to cover about 807 square feet (75 square meters) of the farmyard before it was contained, according to The Independent.

Related: 9 odd ways your tech device may injure you

Four pigpens caught fire at the farm, located near Leeds in the county of Yorkshire, and fire crews from nearby Tadcaster and Knaresbororough rushed in with hoses to "save the bacon," the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service tweeted on March 7

In a photo tweeted by Russell Jenkins, a crew manager for the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, flames smolder and smoke rises from the ground, as firefighters rake through burning hay and dung.

In Yorkshire, firefighters responded to a blaze that enveloped several pigpens at a local farm on March 7.

(Image credit: Russell Jenkinson/North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue)
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In recent years, lithium-ion batteries in personal devices such as cellphones and vape pens have spontaneously combusted, sometimes causing severe burns and even broken bones, Live Science previously reported.

However, no animals involved in the pigpen fire — including the firehog who inadvertently started the blaze — were harmed by the flames or smoke, according to the firefighters' tweets. 

Originally published on Live Science.

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Mindy Weisberger

Mindy Weisberger is a Live Science editor for the channels Animals and Planet Earth. She also reports on general science, covering climate change, paleontology, biology, and space. Mindy studied film at Columbia University; prior to Live Science she produced, wrote and directed media for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Her videos about dinosaurs, astrophysics, biodiversity and evolution appear in museums and science centers worldwide, earning awards such as the CINE Golden Eagle and the Communicator Award of Excellence. Her writing has also appeared in Scientific American, The Washington Post and How It Works Magazine.