A barn fire has broken out near Hensall, Ont., leaving hundreds of pigs dead Friday.

Bluewater Fire Chief Dave Renner told CBC News that firefighters were called to the scene around 9:15 a.m.

"The owner was working in the barn and was actually in his office when he heard something outside in the pig area," Renner said.

The fire chief said the smoke forced the owner to flee the building and call the fire department.

Firefighters were still dealing with hot spots at the scene more than six hours after the fire started.

Renner said initial reports suggest that 300 sows died in the fire, along with 700 smaller pigs.

He said the barn is located in the middle of a field.

"There's no houses, no exposures anything there," Renner said.

The barn's roof has collapsed as a result of the fire, according to Renner.

The fire chief could not immediately provide a damage estimate. He said the fire marshal will not be attending the scene.

Hensall lies about 60 kilometres north of London.