Separate poultry farm fires kill 34,000 chickens in two days


FULKS RUN, VA. (AP) — Investigators think up to 34,000 chickens were killed during two separate poultry farm fires in North Carolina and Virginia within a day of each other.

A fire in northern Virginia killed an estimated 24,000 chickens at about 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Joe Mullins with Rockingham County Fire and Rescue told WHSV-TV. Firefighters contained the blaze, which appeared to have started in a barn at the Fulks Run farm, but chose to let it burn because of the age of the structure, fire officials said.

The structure was completely destroyed and all of the chickens inside were killed. It wasn’t immediately clear who managed the farm.

Approximately 10,000 chickens were killed in a blaze at a poultry house in North Carolina just one day prior, Chief M. Dale Couch of the Forbush Volunteer Fire Department told McClatchy News. Crews responded to the Yadkinville farm, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Winston-Salem, on Thursday afternoon and discovered the fire spreading near the feed silos, Couch said. The ventilation system was activated and caused the fire to move rapidly through the structure, he added.

The operation is managed by Mountaire Farm, a Delaware-based chicken producer with 28 locations in North Carolina, according to Couch.

The two fires didn’t appear to be related and no workers were injured in either. The cities are about 260 miles (418 kilometers) apart.