Abbey City, Florida. – Pasco County firefighters said a massive fire has likely killed up to 240,000 chickens at a poultry farm in Dade City after the fire destroyed three pens containing thousands of chickens.
Farmers who live in Cal-Maine Foods in Dade City called 911 to report the growing fire. When firefighters arrived at around 1 am on Thursday morning, an orange glow surrounded those buildings as the dark sky ablaze. The farm, located at 41040 Simpson Farm Lane, is described as the largest producer and distributor of eggshells in the United States
According to the Pasco County Fire Rescue, there are a total of 8 large chicken cages on the property holding 60,000 to 80,000 chickens. Three of them caught fire and were considered heavy losses, but prevented the fire from spreading to the other five buildings.
The fire has been brought under control, but the fires are still burning inside the buildings.
Firefighters encountered two major obstacles during the night hours. The farm is located in a remote area with no readily available water source, which means the firefighters had to bring their own water. The nearest fire hydrant is three miles away.
Pasco County firefighters had to seek help from other agencies, including Polk, Hernando and Sumter counties.
“We’re out. There’s not a lot of infrastructure here. We have to use tank trucks,” said Sean White, a spokesperson for Pasco County Fire Rescue. “These chicken coops are very large structures. There is a lot of fire and fires running deep in those buildings.”
Second, gas explosions have occurred throughout the morning due to propane tanks on the property. For their safety, firefighters had to stay outside to fight the fire.
No injuries were reported among firefighters or farm workers.
“Some of the risks we are dealing with is that some of the equipment is running on propane, so we have big explosions,” White said. “So, we’re trying to keep everyone safe and we’re trying to fight the fire from outside the buildings.
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