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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)

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 senior writer for Live Science covering general science topics, especially those relating to brains, bodies, and behaviors in humans and other animals — living and extinct. Mindy studied filmmaking at Columbia University; her videos about dinosaurs, biodiversity, human origins, evolution, and astrophysics appear in the American Museum of Natural History, on YouTube, and in museums and science centers worldwide. Follow Mindy on Twitter.