Million Chickens Perish in Plant Fire

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 @ 05:10 PM gHale

Firefighters battle a fire at Hi-Grade Egg Producers in North Manchester, IN.

Over one million chickens died in a fire that destroyed several large barns at a northern Indiana egg-producing facility.

Crews responded Oct. 3 to the fire at Hi-Grade Egg Producers near the Wabash County city of North Manchester, IN.

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The fire was initially reported in one poultry house, but wind caused the flames to spread to at least four other large barns, and four barns appeared to be a total loss, officials said.

There were no people injured in the blaze.

“To have over a million birds die in a fire that we were unable to prevent is just unacceptable to us,” said Midwest Poultry Services President Bob Krouse. He said they plan to rebuild. The complex housed about 2.7 million chickens.

Processing facilities were not damaged, allowing staff to continue to work Tuesday, Krouse said. He expects operations to be back to 100 percebt in about 5 months with the help of other farmers sharing extra chickens and eggs.

Winds helped spread the fire to multiple barns before it was brought under control early Tuesday. Officials say firefighters from 22 departments responded to the scene about 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of Fort Wayne.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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