On Saturday, a massive fire lit a large egg farm ablaze, likely killing thousands of chickens. It is expected to only increase the skyrocketing egg prices across the country.
At approximately 1 p.m, a three-alarm fire was reported at Hillandale Farms in Bozrah, Connecticut. WSFB reported that a total of 21 fire departments responded to the blaze, which took firefighters eight hours to put out.
Norwich Firefighters Local 892 said a two-story, 400-by-100-foot chicken coop had caught fire and was so large that it could be seen from several miles away.
John Way, a safety officer for the Bozrah Volunteer Fire Co., said the coop housed an unknown number of chickens, but multiple local outlets reported that around 100,000 chickens were killed, citing the Connecticut Department of Agriculture.
“The Connecticut Department of Agriculture commends the swift actions of both employees and the many first responder units to contain the fire at Hillandale Farms in Bozrah to a single structure, preventing any additional losses,” said spokeswoman for the Connecticut Department of Agriculture Rebecca Murphy. “CT Department of Agriculture will be working with Hillandale Farms to confirm the extent of damage.”
No injuries were reported. The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear, and authorities are still investigating.
Hillandale Farms raises over 20 million chickens for eggs and is one of the top five egg producers in the country with Hendrix Genetics listing the company as the third-largest egg producer in the U.S.
In the past several years, multiple major egg farm fires have taken place. In December 2022, October 2022, December 2020 and February 2020, four separate fires killed nearly 1 million chickens between them and caused millions of dollars in damages.
The fire in December 2020 occurred at a Cal-Maine operated egg farm, “the largest producer and distributor of shell eggs in the United States. It sells under brands including Egg-Land’s Best and Land O’ Lakes,” according to a CBS report. Earlier that year in February 2020 400,000 chickens died in a separate incident.
In all, the Animal Welfare Institute reported that nearly 1.3 million cage-free hens “perished in potentially preventable barn fires” in 2020.
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