A woman who watched a livestream of a sleeping pig, in an attempt to unwind, watched in horror as the pig’s barn caught on fire—but was able to act quickly and contact the farmers just in time.
Laura Palladino had visited June Farms in upstate New York back in October, according to WKBN-TV, and adored the pigs that were there.
Several weeks later, learning that June Farms had just installed livestreaming cameras on the pigs. Palladino, looking to relax on a Friday night, settled on watching the stream of a sleeping pig.
But then the pig, named Ethel, kicked over a heat lamp and the hay in the barn caught fire.
“I logged on and at first, I thought it was just, like, a wood-burning stove in the background,” Palladino said, seeing smoke in the camera.
But as CBS News noted, once she realized what was going on, she recalled, “I started freaking out. I was the only one watching, which is what made my heart sink,” she said. “There was nothing I could do and it was terrifying, yeah.”
The New York Post reported that Palladino, who lives about 60 miles away from the farm in Dutchess County, then called 911, knowing she was likely the only person in the world who knew about the impending tragedy.
“I just called 911, but I’m in Dutchess County, so the 911 [call] sent me to Dutchess County 911. And the operator, he was like, ‘What? You’re watching a YouTube video?’” Palladino recounted.
She was eventually able to make contact with farm owner Matt Baumgartner and farmhand Joshua Vics, who rushed to the scene and got the blaze under control before firemen arrived.
“My mind immediately went to the worst. My heart dropped into my stomach,” Vics recalled, hearing that the pigs were in danger. “I don’t like to think about how bad it could have been if she didn’t say something.”
Vics believes that the newly-installed webcam saved the pigs’ lives, and Palladino marveled that she was watching them.
“I never thought that when we saw these pigs,” she recalled, “that I would technically end up saving their life.”