The piglets were just a fortnight old when they were saved from certain death but six months later the fire crews who saved them were given a special gift by the grateful farmer
NEWS COPY WITH PICTURES - by Sarah Ward
Firefighters who rescued 18 piglets from an inferno were given a treat six months later - when they cooked organic pork sausages made from the litter on a barbecue.
The baby pigs and two sows were saved from a certain death when the barn they were living in went up in flames in February.
Grateful farmer Rachel Rivers promised the emergency services that she would give them the special sausages as a gift when fire crews extinguished the blaze at Lawn Farm, Milton Lilbourne, near Pewsey, Wilts.
And a photo posted on Twitter showed the heroic fire crews relaxing as they cooked the sausages on a disposable barbecue.
Rachel said: “This was just a token gesture to the fire service. They were over the moon with them.
“This is just what we do - we are not an animal sanctuary. We give the pigs the best opportunity and the best life they could have for six months.
“They won’t be kept inside, they are outdoors and fed with organic food which is grown on the farm.”
The 18 piglets - which were just two weeks old when firefighters saved their bacon - were turned into sausages after being fattened up for six months.
She added: “At the time I told them I would give them the sausages.”
Fire crews from Pewsey and Marlborough dashed to Lawn Farm, which Rachel manages along with husband Andy.
At the time, Pewsey watch manager Mark Hillier said: "When we arrived at the scene shortly before 10pm, half of the barn was on fire, with the pigs sheltering in the corner on the other side.
"The tough bit was getting towards it and then to free the pigs. Once they were clear, we took a defensive approach to keep the situation under control and then let the fire burn itself out.”
However, some social media users reacted with disgust to the gesture.
Farrell Monaco wrote: "What a dreadful story. Why print it? Lovely that they saved the pigs but why publish their demise? Grim."
And Pearl-Lucia Sayer wrote: "Jesus could she not just say thanks! What's wrong with a box of Roses? FFS what a horrible story to start the day."
However, others said it was just the nature of the farming world.
Matthew Thomas Crisafi said: "Horrible. But normal. Pigs die everyday make bacon and sausages. The firefighters were only rescuing stock not lives. I wonder how many of y'all are vegetarian.
"Why is an animal cute and cuddly until it's on your plate as mince? Odd."
ADD OUT OF THE FIRE - INTO THE FRYING PAN
NEWS COPY - WITH PICTURES - by Sarah Ward
A Facebook post on the Pewsey Fire Station page gave the sausages glowing reviews and recommended them for an August bank holiday barbecue.
It read: "Exactly six months and one day since fire fighters Olsen and Richardson rescued 18 piglets from a fire in Milton, we got to sample the fruits of our labours from that February night.
"Huge thank you to Rachel Rivers for dropping them off for us to sample.
"Highly recommended by Pewsey Fire Station crew and if any one of our followers is having a bank holiday bbq this weekend then check out these sausages, they are fantastic."
Hannah Jones wrote: "LOL. they look lovely sausages. At least they died humanely and not burnt to death. I supose it is the way of the farming world."
Drew Capener said: "All these people getting their backs up. What did you think was going to happen to the pigs?
"Did you think they'd be spared the slaughterhouse and made honorary fire service mascots?"
But Tilly Vacher posted: "What a distorted way of seeing the world. Think about it .. they were farm animals, "saved" from a fire for the farmer's sake not from their inevitable death as meat-producing animals.
"They only existed in the first place to be turned into sausages!!"
Joshua Belt added: "Why is it a horrible story? They would have ended up on someone's plate either way. I think it's brilliant and a good way to say thanks."