FOX 47 - Top Stories
LA GRANGE, Wis. - No
humans were injured but about 300,000 chickens died in a livestock building
fire in La Grange overnight.
Fire Chief John Duerst said dozens of area departments were on the scene of the
fire at S&R Fresh Egg Farm that was reported at about 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The northern building
on the egg farm was engulfed in flames when crews arrived, Duerst said. Water
to fight the fire had to be hauled to the rural farm from miles away, which is
why about 60 fire agencies totaling between 150 and 200 firefighters assisted.
Duerst said all the
chickens housed in the building where the fire began were killed. The 280,000
to 300,000 birds that were killed likely died within the first 15 minutes, he
said. Hundreds of thousands of chickens kept in the two other buildings nearby
After about 15 hours
of fighting the fire, it was out at about 10 a.m. Saturday, according to the
The cause of the fire
is undetermined, Duerst said.
"We know where
roughly in the building it may have started," Duerst said. But finding the
source of the blaze was made difficult because "we had to destroy so much
of the building, the contents of it. There (were) cages and conveyors and
feeders that are stacked up three stories tall."
The fire chief said
the building where the fire started was a total loss, but an estimate of damage
cost was not available.
Duerst said fighting a
blaze for hours can be a challenge for crews, but the many agencies that
responded Friday night made the challenge easier.
"In such a long,
drawn out affair, you just have to rotate guys off the line, so you bring in
fresh guys," he said. "We appreciate all the help we got from all the
Fire doors between
buildings helped contain the flames and heat from reaching two other chicken
barns and a production building next to the blazing structure.
The 800-acre farm has
been in operation for nearly six decades. It housed 2.4 million hens that
produce about 2 million eggs a day.
Saturday, February 1 2014, 03:29 PM CST
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