Several fire crews were summoned to a Thanksgiving night blaze that killed thousands of chickens in West End.
The two-alarm fire was reported about 9:30 p.m. Thursday at a chicken house on Auman Farm near N.C. 73. Chief Erik Stromberg of the West End Fire and Rescue Department said “small winds” caused the flames to quickly spread through the structure.
Nearly 19,000 birds perished in the fire, wiping out half the poultry supplier’s inventory. Stromberg said the chickens were due to be slaughtered soon at a Perdue processing facility.
“They lost them at the worst possible time,” Stromberg said.
The badly scorched barn is still standing, and fire crews managed to prevent the blaze from reaching a second chicken house on the property. Firefighters were at the scene for more than three hours.
“Our men and ladies did a good job,” said Stromberg, adding that his department was assisted by multiple agencies from across Moore County.
Units from Pinehurst, Seven Lakes, Eagle Springs and Eastwood were deployed to the farm. Tanker trucks from fire departments in Southern Pines and Carthage were called in as an added precaution.
The cause of the fire was not immediately clear. Stromberg said the blaze is being investigated by the Moore County Fire Marshal’s office.
It was the second major mishap this month involving chickens in Moore County. On Nov. 11, a Mountaire Farms delivery truck overturned in Southern Pines, spilling cages containing hundreds of birds in the recently constructed traffic circle on Midland Road.