Mary Auth

By: Mary Auth on June 18th, 2020

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64,000 Chicks Lost in Fire – Do You Have a Fire Plan?

Poultry | Posts

A poultry barn and 64,000 chicks in Upper Tulpehocken Township, Pennsylvania, were lost in a fire on June 5. According to a report from, the property was owned by Curtis and Lois Lehmen, who are contract growers for Bell & Evans, a family-owned poultry company, also known as Farmers Pride Inc. When firefighters arrived on the scene around 8 p.m., the 76-foot by 750-foot barn was engulfed in flames, with more than half of the building collapsed. Strausstown Fire Company Chief Jeremy Bentz estimated the damage to be about $700,000. The 64,000 chicks at the farm had just been delivered on May 30.

In April, a large fire at a barn near Ceres, California, killed 280,000 layers. In November outside Roaring River, North Carolina, 12,500 broilers were lost in a fire.

Such tragedies are a stark reminder to producers to take a good look at their preventative fire plans. Key questions to ask yourself about your fire plan would be:

  • Is your wiring up to date?
  • What about your heating systems?
  • Is your building free of debris that could serve as a tinder?
  • Is there an adequate water source nearby for firefighters to access?
  • Have you looked at friction points?

Poultry Fire

A recent poultry barn fire in Pennsylvania caused an estimated $700,000 in damages. There were 64,000 chicks, which were being raised for Bell & Evans, inside. (Bernville Community Fire Company)