January 11, 2011
A fire at a poultry house in Rockingham County killed 17,000 chickens Monday night. The incident occurred just before midnight on Rock Spring Lane.
Officials with the Rockingham County Fire Department say the fire pretty much put itself out before they arrived. They say the owners had actually gone out and done their last round for the night just a couple of hours before the fire.
While chicken house fires aren't uncommon in the Valley, Rockingham County Asst. Fire Marshall Mike Armstrong says this one in particular is unusual because fires in these structures don't usually put themselves out.
"Part of that's attributed to the fact that this happens to be a steel framed poultry house that was built in the late 60s early 70s likely, and it just didn't have the fuels that would've carried the fire as it got up into the ceiling area," he said.
Even though there wasn't a major fire in this case, Armstrong says the birds died from smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.