As the story goes, John was busily working in the barn one day and decided to remove his vest and place it on the barn floor. When he left the barn on his dinner break he forgot the vest. As he sat down to a fine repast with his family, two pigs entered the barn and began to tear up the vest. The pockets contained several lucifers (friction matches). The matches must have rubbed against one another and the vest burst into flame. In the following conflagration the barn and all its contents burned. Several horses died in the fire but the fate of the pyromaniac pigs was not disclosed. I suspect that if they survived, which is highly likely that they were soon to be John's repast of revenge. All in all the value of the barn and its contents was over $3,000 in 1885 dollars. In 2016 dollars the value is roughly $66,523. There is no mention that John carried insurance to cover this devastating loss.
Matches have a long and checkered history, probably dating back to the 12 Century. John Walker built upon centuries of previous fire starting solutions and invented the friction match in 1826. It was a descendant of Walker's matches that the porky arsonists used to ruin John Bole. So... safety first, don't give your livestock a chance to play with matches.