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Fire destroys chicken hatchery

January 20, 2000|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

A fire that destroyed a Franklin County, Pa., industrial chicken house Thursday night produced flames that could be seen a mile away, firefighters said.

Firefighters from Pennsylvania fire companies, including Marion, Franklin, New Franklin and Mont Alto, fought the blaze at the Wheelock Hatchery chicken house on Henry Lane south of Chambersburg, Pa.

The fire was reported around 9:30 p.m. Firefighters were hampered in their efforts by frigid temperatures and winds that whipped the fire through the 150-by-60-foot wooden chicken house, New Franklin Fire Chief Colin Snyder said.

The fire was still burning at 11 p.m., but was under control, Snyder said.

Snyder said he didn't know the cause of the fire, and he didn't know if there were chickens in the chicken house, but Franklin County Emergency Services said they received a report of dead livestock at the chicken house.

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No one was injured in the fire, firefighters said.

Fire officials from Pennsylvania called the Long Meadow Volunteer Fire Co. to see if firefighters were available and the company was put on standby, said Lt. Scott Adams.

Adams said firefighters from New Franklin Volunteer Fire Co. told him flames and smoke from the blaze could be seen from their station house, a mile away from the chicken house.

Firefighters fought the blaze in 20-degree temperatures with a windchill from 0 to 5 degrees, according to Adams.

A temporary rehabilitation shelter was set up at the site so firefighters could rest in a heated area, he said.

Staff writers Julie E. Greene and Kimberly Yakowski contributed to this story.

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